Isolation, molecular characterization and growth-promotion activities of a cold tolerant bacterium Pseudomonas sp. NARs9 (MTCC9002) from the Indian Himalayas
A bacterium that grows and expresses plant growth promotion traits at 4°C was isolated from the rhizospheric soil of Amaranth, cultivated at a high altitude location in the North Western Indian Himalayas. The isolate was Gram negative and the cells appeared as rods (2.91 x 0.71 μm in size). It grew at temperatures ranging from 4 to 30°C, with a growth optimum at 28°C. It exhibited tolerance to a wide pH range (5-10; optimum 8.0) and salt concentrations up to 6% (wt/vol). Although it was sensitive to Rifampicin (R 20 μg mi-1), Gentamicin (G 3 μg mi-1), and Streptomycin (S 5 μg mi-1), it showed resistance to higher concentrations of Ampicillin (A 500 μg mi-1), Penicillin (P 300 μg mi-1), Polymixin B sulphate (Pb 100 μg mi-1) and Chloramphenicol (C 200 μg mi-1). The 16S rRNA sequence analysis revealed maximum identity with Pseudomonas lurida. The bacterium produced indole Acetic Acid (IAA) and solubilizes phosphate at 4, 15 and 28°C. It also retained its ability to produce rhamnolipids and siderophores at 15°C. Seed bacterization with the isolate enhanced the germination, shoot and root lengths of thirty-day-old wheat seedlings by 19.2, 30.0 & 22.9% respectively, as compared to the un-inoculated controls.