Plant growth-promoting activities of Streptomyces spp. in sorghum and rice.
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Five strains of Streptomyces (CAI-24, CAI-121, CAI-127, KAI-32 and KAI-90) were earlier reported by us as biological control agents against Fusarium wilt of chickpea caused by Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. ciceri (FOC). In the present study, the Streptomyces were characterized for enzymatic activities, physiological traits and further evaluated in greenhouse and field for their plant growth promotion (PGP) of sorghum and rice. All the Streptomyces produced lipase, ?-1-3-glucanase and chitinase (except CAI-121 and CAI-127), grew in NaCl concentrations of up to 6%, at pH values between 5 and 13 and temperatures between 20 and 40°C and were highly sensitive to Thiram, Benlate, Captan, Benomyl and Radonil at field application level. When the Streptomyces were evaluated in the greenhouse on sorghum all the isolates significantly enhanced all the agronomic traits over the control. In the field, on rice, the Streptomyces significantly enhanced stover yield (up to 25%; except CAI-24), grain yield (up to 10%), total dry matter (up to 18%; except CAI-24) and root length, volume and dry weight (up to 15%, 36% and 55%, respectively, except CAI-24) over the control. In the rhizosphere soil, the Streptomyces significantly enhanced microbial biomass carbon (except CAI-24), nitrogen, dehydrogenase (except CAI-24), total N, available P and organic carbon (up to 41%, 52%, 75%, 122%, 53% and 13%, respectively) over the control. This study demonstrates that the selected Streptomyces which were antagonistic to FOC also have PGP properties
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