Asian Journal of Microbiology, Biotechnology & Environmental Sciences Paper

Vol 20, Issue 1, 2018; Page No.(319-326)

NILGIRI HILLS BACTERIA AS RESOURCE FOR FUNCTIONS HAVING BIOTECHNOLOGICAL POTENTIAL: PRELIMINARY REPORT OF STUDY INVOLVING CULTURE DEPENDENT APPROACH

PAYEL CHOUDHURY AND PRADIPTA SAHA

Abstract

Tea plant rhizospheric soil was explored for isolation, characterization and identification of bacterial strains having biotechnological potential. A sum total of 35 isolates were explored for presence of hydrolytic enzyme activities and plant growth promoting traits. Among these, 19 had amylase activity, 07 were cellulase positive, 19 could hydrolyze casein, 07 were chitinase positive, 30 could degrade gelatin, 05 possessed pectinase activities while 23 were able to produce siderophore, 24 produced ammonia, 18 were positive for plate based presumptive nitrogen fixation assay and a six isolate was recorded to solubilize inorganic phosphate. These strains were characterized by a series of simple morphological and biochemical tests that grouped them in 4 distinctly separate phenotypic clusters. Five promising strains having biotechnological potential were further subjected to identification by using 16S rRNA gene based molecular phylogenetic approach. Among them four strains were identified to be Bacillus sp. and one as Arthrobacter sp. Prevalence of heavy metal tolerance was recorded among majority of these bacterial isolates. Most of these isolates could tolerate salts of As5+, As3+, Cr2+, Fe2+, Pb2+ and Zn2+. This is a preliminary study report of heavy metal tolerant, hydrolytic enzyme producing unique bacteria having plant growth promoting traits, isolated from the Nilgiri Hills of India.

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