Plant growth-promoting traits of Pseudomonas geniculata isolated from chickpea nodules
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A bacterium, isolated from nodules of chickpea grown in alluvial soils of Haryana state of India, designated as IC-76 was characterized for in vitro plant growth-promoting (PGP) properties and further evaluated under greenhouse, on-station and on-farm field conditions for PGP activity in chickpea. The isolate IC-76 produced indole acetic acid, siderophore, hydrocyanic acid, cellulase, protease, and β-1,3-glucanase. When the bacterium was evaluated individually for their PGP potential in the greenhouse on chickpea and in combination with five Streptomyces sp. (strains CAI-24, CAI-121, CAI-127, KAI-32, and KAI-90; demonstrated earlier as biocontrol potential against Fusarium wilt disease in chickpea), the traits, including nodule number and weight, shoot, and root weight, pod number and weight, seed number and weight, available phosphorus and % organic carbon were found significantly, enhanced over un-inoculated control. In the on-station and on-farm field conditions, IC-76 significantly enhanced nodule number and weight, shoot, and root weight, stover and grain yield and total dry matter. In the rhizosphere (0–15 cm soil), the bacterium also significantly enhanced the total nitrogen, available phosphorus and % organic carbon. The sequence of 16S rDNA gene of the IC-76 was matched with Pseudomonas geniculata in BLAST analysis. This study demonstrates that IC-76 has the potential for PGP in chickpea.