Endophytic bacterial community structure and function of herbaceous plants from petroleum hydrocarbon contaminated and non-contaminated sites

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Abstract

Bacterial endophytes (BEs) are non-pathogenic residents of healthy plant tissues that can confer benefits to plants. Many Bacterial endophytes have been shown to contribute to plant growth and health, alleviation of plant stress and to in-planta contaminant-degradation. This study examined the endophytic bacterial communities of plants growing abundantly in a heavily hydrocarbon contaminated site, and compared them to those found in the same species at a non-contaminated. We used culture- dependent and independent methods to characterize the community structure, hydrocarbon degrading capabilities, and plant growth promoting traits of cultivable endophytes isolated from Achillea millefolium, Solidago Canadensis, and Daucus carota plants from these two sites. Culture- dependent and independent analyses revealed class Gammaproteobacteria predominated in all the plants regardless of the presence of petroleum hydrocarbon, with Pantoea spp. as largely dominant. It was interesting to note a > 50% taxonomic overlap (genus level) of 16s rRNA high throughput amplicon sequences with cultivable endophytes. PERMANOVA analysis of TRFLP fragments revealed significant structural differences between endophytic bacterial communities from hydrocarbon-contaminated and non-contaminated soils-however, there was no marked difference in their functional capabilities. Pantoea spp. demonstrated plant beneficial characteristics, such as P solubilization, indole-3-acetic acid production and presence of 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate deaminase. Our findings reveal that functional capabilities of bacterial isolates being examined were not influenced by the presence of contamination; and that the stem endosphere supports ubiquitous BEs that were consistent throughout plant hosts and sites.

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Lumactud, R., & Fulthorpe, R. R. (2018). Endophytic bacterial community structure and function of herbaceous plants from petroleum hydrocarbon contaminated and non-contaminated sites. Frontiers in Microbiology, 9(AUG). https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2018.01926

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