CHARACTERIZATION OF PLANT GROWTH PROMOTING RHIZOBACTERIA ISOLATED FROM ROOT SYSTEM OF SUNFLOWER (HELIANTHUS ANNUS L) GROWN UNDER SALT AFFECTED AREA OF PAKISTAN
Muhammad Zahid Kiani*, Arshad Ali**, Tariq Sultan** and Muhammad Munir Ahmed***
Plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) directly promote plant growth by providing indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), solubilization of inorganic phosphates, nitrogen fixation and siderophores and other organic acid production, whereas indirectly support plant growth by suppressing plant pathogens. The objective of this study was isolation and characterization of bacterial strains from rhizosphere, endosphere and rhizoplane of sunflower. Thirty six bacterial strains were selected out of 44 from plant root samples along with rhizospheric soil, collected from different salt affected areas of Central Punjab (Pakistan). Selected bacterial strains were characterized morphologically as well as biochemically at National Agricultural Research Centre, Islamabad during 2011-13. It was observed that all isolates produced IAA, whereas14 strains were declared as phosphate solubilizing bacteria (PSB), eight isolates exhibited antifungal characteristics, 30 were nitrogen fixer and all of them were gram -ve. During biochemical characterization of bacterial isolates KS 15 and KS 8 produced the highest indole acetic acid whereas KS 15 and KS 17 indicated maximum phosphate solubilization (PS) among all isolated strains. The bacterial strains KS 10 and KS 44 showed maximum bio-control activity (fungal growth inhibition) than other isolated strains.