The importance of plant growth promoting rhizobacteria in growth promotion and their ability to elicit ‘induced systemic tolerance’ against abiotic stresses has been documented. However, the performance of these microbes under various abiotic stresses especially saline-sodic conditions will be of great importance in the current agricultural scenario. In this study, we isolated 16 rhizobacteria through natural selection from saline sodic soils, and characterized them using morphological and biochemical parameters. These bacteria were assessed for their plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) traits like indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) production, ammonia and hydrogen cyanide (HCN) production, phosphate solubilization, etc. Furthermore, they were screened for in-vitro salt (NaCl) tolerance and Na+ uptake pattern, where two stress tolerant rhizobacteria B-1 and B-3 identified as Bacillus pumilus and Bacillus subtilis showed all PGPR traits with tolerance to salinity. These isolates also elicited significantly higher vigor index in tomato seedlings grown in pot culture experiments under saline sodic soils of pH 9.35 and EC 4.2.
Key words: Rhizobacteria, salt tolerant, natural selection, PGPR.
Copyright © 2023 Author(s) retain the copyright of this article.
This article is published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0