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Abstract
Mandarin orange (MO) is an important fruit crop of tropical and subtropical regions of the world. A total of 217 morphologically distinct rhizobacteria from MO orchards in 3 states of northeastern India were isolated and analyzed for 4 plant-growth-promoting (PGP) attributes: nitrogen fixation, production of indole acetic acid like substances, solubilization of phosphate, and ability to antagonize pathogenic fungi. Isolates were ranked based on in-vitro-assayed PGP attributes, and 10 superior isolates were selected to test their effect on seedling emergence and seedling growth in a completely randomized pot experiment. These 10 isolates increased seedling emergence over a noninoculated control within 45 days after sowing. Five isolates, namely RCE1, RCE2, RCE3, RCE5, and RCE7, significantly increased shoot length, shoot dry biomass, and root dry biomass of 120-day-old seedlings over the noninoculated control. The beneficial effects of 4 selected strains, namely Enterobacter hormaechei RCE-1, Enterobacter asburiae RCE-2, Enterobacter ludwigii RCE-5, and Klebsiella pneumoniae RCE-7, on growth of the seedlings were visible up to 1 year after their transfer to 8 kg capacity pots. These strains were superior both in terms of in-vitro-assayed PGP attributes and of their beneficial effect in low phosphorus soil and, thus, may be promising bioinoculants for promoting early emergence and growth of MO seedlings.
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Concepts
Tangor, Ethanol, Clementine, Rutaceae, Tangerine, Mandarin orange, Orange, Citrus
MeSH headings
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