A glimpse of the endophytic bacterial diversity in roots of blackberry plants (Rubus fruticosus)
Genetics and Molecular Research
The aim of this study was to explore the diversity of culturable bacterial communities residing in blackberry plants (Rubus fruticosus). Bacterial endophytes were isolated from plant roots, and their 16S rDNA sequences were amplified and sequenced. Our results show that the roots of R. fruticosus exhibit low colony forming units of bacterial endophytes per gram of fresh tissue (6 x 10 2 ± 0.5 x 10 2 ). We identified 41 endophytic bacterial species in R. fruticosus by BLAST homology search and a
... mology search and a subsequent phylogenetic analysis, belonging to the classes Actinobacteria, Bacilli, Alfaproteobacteria, Betaproteobacteria, and Gammaproteobacteria. Predominantly, genera belonging the Proteobacteria (Burkholderia, 29.4%; Herbaspirillum, 10.7%; Pseudomonas, 4.9%; and Dyella, 3.9%), Firmicutes (Bacillus, 42.1%), and Actinobacteria (two isolates showing high identity with of the bacterial endophytes produced the phytohormone indole-acetic acid (IAA), eleven of which exhibited higher IAA production (>5.8 mg/mL) compared to the plant growth-promoting strain, Pseudomonas fluorescens UM270. Additionally, the endophytic isolates exhibited protease activity (22%), produced siderophores (26.4%), and demonstrated antagonistic action (>50% inhibition of mycelial growth) against the grey mold phytopathogen Botrytis cinerea (3.9%). These results suggested that field-grown R. fruticosus plants contain bacterial endophytes within their tissues with the potential to promote plant growth and display antagonism towards plant pathogens.