Poster: Biology & Disease Mgmt: Bacteriology
Research on Bacterial Endophytes at the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research
C. MEI (1), R. Chretien (2), J. Carey (2), Y. He (2), S. Kadali (2), S. Lowman (2) (1) Institute for Advanced Learning and Research, U.S.A.; (2) Institute for Advanced Learning and Research, U.S.A.
Bacterial endophytes live inside plants and represent a largely unexplored resource for enhancing sustainable agricultural production. They are also recognized as an untapped reservoir of novel natural products. We have demonstrated significant growth promotion of the bioenergy crop switchgrass by bacterial endophytes (Burkholderia phytofirmans PsJN and Panteoa agglomerans PaKM) under in vitro, growth chamber and greenhouse, as well as field conditions, particularly in low fertility soil. Currently, we have established a library of 225 bacterial endophytes isolated from various environments and characterized their abilities in N fixation, P solubilization and auxin production, as well as ACC deaminase activities. Many endophytes exhibited one or several of these plant beneficial traits. In the agricultural sector, researchers are exploring growth enhancement and disease resistance of crops important to the region such as tobacco, grapevine and tall fescue and testing both individual microbes and consortia for possible applications. In the environmental sector, scientists are using switchgrass and bacterial endophytes able to breakdown toxic organic compounds to remediate polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in a contaminated waste water overflow pond and also to reduce PCBs in storm water. In the natural product sector, researchers are searching for unique natural products with wide-ranging applications as antibiotics, antivirals and anticancer agents.