Asian Journal of Microbiology, Biotechnology & Environmental Sciences Paper

Vol 19, Issue 3, 2017; Page No.(648-653)

DETERMINATION OF SOIL AGGREGATING EFFICACY OF EXOPOLYSACCHARIDES PRODUCING BACTERIA ISOLATED FROM PRISTINE SOILS OF SIRUVANI FORESTS

K. GILBERT ROSS REX AND R.S. DAVID PAUL RAJ

Abstract

In general, soil health is influenced by soil aggregate size. The present study aims at determination of soil aggregating efficacy of exopolysaccharide producing bacteria in the presence of coir pith. A total of 128 bacterial isolate were isolated from pristine soils through serial dilution technique and screened for exopolysaccharide production. Among the 7 EPS producing bacterial isolates, KUFS18.1 yielded high EPS production and was identified by 16srDNA sequencing. Soil aggregating efficacy of the isolate KUFS18.1 was determined by three different treatments by pot culture study under in vitro condition and soil aggregate analysis by wet sieving method was performed. Compared to the other bacterial isolates, isolate KUFS18.1 yielded high exopolysaccharides (4.6 g/L). The bacterial isolate KUFS18.1 was identified by 16S rDNA sequencing as Bacillus cereus. Coir pith was used along with bacterial isolate for determination of soil aggregation studies as a first attempt. The aggregated soil was sieved using various sieve size (8, 6, 4, 2, 1, 0.5, 0.25, 0.2) mm using Yoder equipment. Bacterial isolate KUFS18.1 along with non-enriched coir pith exhibited high soil aggregation 1.12% greater than control and other treatments. The results clearly indicate the role of EPS producing bacteria in soil aggregate formation. The mechanisms and other related factors involved in soil aggregation need to be explored in further studies.

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