Genetic diversity and promotion plant growth of culturable endophytic diazotrophs associated with seashore paspalum cultivars

Tianzeng Liu, Chaonan Zhai, Juming Zhang, Jeffrey A. Coulter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Turfgrass lawns demand high inputs of nitrogen (N) to maintain attractive and functional landscapes. Endophytic diazotrophs have a high potential to increase N in the host plant and promote growth by biological N fixation. The aim of this study was to identify the genetic diversity of culturable putative diazotrophs associated with seashore paspalum (Paspalum vaginatum Swartz) cultivars in southern China. A total of 78 isolates were collected from the roots, stems and leaves of healthy plants. A phylogenetic analysis showed that all the isolates were classified into 10 species from nine genera. The dominant genera were Bacillus, followed by Curtobacterium and Stenotrophomonas. The population of diazotrophs in the roots was more diverse than that in the stems and leaves. The 10 representative strains were found to be positive for nitrogenase activity and amplification of the nifH gene, and nine strains could solubilise inorganic phosphate. In addition, two isolates of bacteria, Bacillus pumilus and Lysinibacillus macrolides, were selected to evaluate the promotion of plant growth by inoculation. Ryegrass and rice plants inoculated with bacteria displayed significantly greater root and shoot biomass than un-inoculated plants. It is crucial to further explore their potential roles in the biology of these plants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)243-257
Number of pages15
JournalNew Zealand Journal of Crop and Horticultural Science
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Mar 4 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by Natural Science Foundation of Guangdong Province [grant number 2020A1515011261].

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Royal Society of New Zealand.


  • diversity
  • Endophytic diazotrophs
  • nitrogen fixation
  • plant growth promotion
  • seashore paspalum


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