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Lactic Acid Bacteria and Chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.): An Unexplored but Potentially Beneficial Liaison

Lactic Acid Bacteria and Chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.): An Unexplored but Potentially Beneficial Liaison

Ahmad Nadeem1,2 and Rubina Arshad1,2,*

1Nuclear Institute for Agriculture and Biology College (NIAB-C), Faisalabad 
2Pakistan Institute of Engineering and Applied Sciences (PIEAS), Nilore, Islamabad
 
* Corresponding author: arshadrubina@hotmail.com

ABSTRACT

The present study was designed to explore plant-associated endophytic lactic acid bacteria (LAB), enhance their plant growth promoting efficacy by induced mutation and unlock their potential as bio-inoculant. Lactobacillus plantarum specific medium and non-selective media were used for isolation of LAB from plant cuttings. A total of seven isolates were isolated on the basis of colony morphology on De Man Rogosa Sharpe (MRS) agar plates, Gram staining, biochemical tests and molecular characterization. The co-culturing of LAB isolates with fungal cultures (in vitro) showed that among seven LAB isolates, only three possessed antifungal activity. One promising wild type isolate (LPA6) was subjected to gamma irradiation for mutation induction. Seeds of two chickpea varieties were inoculated with LAB isolates in four treatments comprising of T1 (wild type LPA6), T2 (mutant MLPA6), T3 (wild type LPA6 + mutant MLPA6 consortium) and T4 (un-inoculated control). Inoculated and uninoculated seeds were sown in net house in three replicates. In kabuli variety, maximum increase in plant height (16.7%), root length (5.9%), number of secondary branches (19%), pod number (63.2%) and seed number per plant (75%) was observed in MLPA6 mutant inoculated plants as compared to control whereas maximum increase in 100 seed weight (43.1%) and plant weight (90%) was attained in consortium treated plants over control. In desi variety, MLPA6 mutant also manifested significant increase in root length (53%), pod number (43.5%), seed number (50%), 100 seed weight (24%) and plant weight (67.9%) than control. These eco-friendly plant probiotics offer great potential for crop improvement and could further be exploited by conducting field trials for investigating their potential as an alternative to agrochemicals.

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Pakistan Journal of Zoology

December

Vol. 54, Iss. 6, Pages 2501-3000

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