Endophytic bacteria are able to live inside the plant tissue for enhancing plant growth without any negative effect. A total of forty endophytic bacteria were isolated from different tissues of chickpea and in vitro screening was done for biochemical tests and different plant growth promotion activities, that is, indole acetic acid (IAA), gibberellic acid (GA) production, and phosphate solubilization. On the basis of morphological and biochemical tests, 32 isolates were presumptively placed into genera, namely, 9 (Bacillus species), 10 (Pseudomonas species), 5 (Klebsiella species) and 4 each of Enteroccocus species and Enterobacter species and 8 remained unidentified. Significantly high amount of IAA production was recorded by LCRE 15 (49.3 μgml-1) isolate from cultivated variety GPF2 of root followed by LCNE 12 (47.7 μgml-1) from wild species (Cicer judiacum) of chickpea nodule. Maximum amount of GA production was observed in isolates from root LCRE 8 (73.30 μgml-1) followed by LCRE 6 (71.03 μgml-1). Significantly high P-solubilization was recorded by LCRE 8 (16.07 mg 100 ml-1) isolate followed by LCNE 3 (15.36 mg 100 ml-1). On the basis of plant growth promotional traits, LCRE 8 and LCNE 3 were selected as native potential endophytes for maximum plant growth promotional activities. These two native potential endophytic bacterial isolates can be further exploited under field conditions to be used as biofertilizer in chickpea.
Keywords: Chickpea, endophyte, gibberellic acid, indole acetic acid (IAA), phosphate solubilization.