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Bacterial Endophytes and Their Interactions with Hosts

August 2006 , Volume 19 , Number  8
Pages  827 - 837

Mónica Rosenblueth and Esperanza Martínez-Romero

Centro de Ciencias Genómicas, Universidad Nacional Autóma de México, Apdo. Postal 565-A, Cuernavaca, México

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Accepted 8 March 2006.

Recent molecular studies on endophytic bacterial diversity have revealed a large richness of species. Endophytes promote plant growth and yield, suppress pathogens, may help to remove contaminants, solubilize phosphate, or contribute assimilable nitrogen to plants. Some endophytes are seed-borne, but others have mechanisms to colonize the plants that are being studied. Bacterial mutants unable to produce secreted proteins are impaired in the colonization process. Plant genes expressed in the presence of endophytes provide clues as to the effects of endophytes in plants. Molecular analysis showed that plant defense responses limit bacterial populations inside plants. Some human pathogens, such as Salmonella spp., have been found as endophytes, and these bacteria are not removed by disinfection procedures that eliminate superficially occurring bacteria. Delivery of endo-phytes to the environment or agricultural fields should be carefully evaluated to avoid introducing pathogens.

Additional keywords: nitrogen fixation , pathogenic bacteria , plant bacteria , plant colonization .

© 2006 The American Phytopathological Society