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University of Agricultural Sciences GKVK Bengaluru (2016)

ISOLATION AND EVALUATION OF ENDOPHYTIC FUNGI FROM DROUGHT TOLERANT PLANTS AND THEIR ABILITY TO CONFER DROUGHT TOLERANCE

NITHIN, J. SHETTY

Titre : ISOLATION AND EVALUATION OF ENDOPHYTIC FUNGI FROM DROUGHT TOLERANT PLANTS AND THEIR ABILITY TO CONFER DROUGHT TOLERANCE

Auteur : NITHIN, J. SHETTY

Université de soutenance : University of Agricultural Sciences, Bengaluru

Grade : Master of Science (Agriculture) 2016

Résumé
Endophytes (fungal or bacterial) are microorganisms that complete their life cycle inside living plant tissue without causing any overt negative symptoms and are believed to confer habitat-adapted fitness benefits to host species. Endophytic fungi have gained importance in the area of agriculture because of their ability to confer resistance to different biotic and abiotic stress.In this study, we addressed two hypotheses, namely, a) that endophytes from arid habitat plants would possess “habitat adapted symbiotic” tolerance to drought and b) that upon inoculation to crop plants, such endophytes would impart tolerance to drought sensitive plants. We addressed these hypotheses by evaluating endophytic fungi isolated from 17 plant species collected from the arid habitats of Rao Jodha Desert Park, Rajasthan for their ability to impart drought tolerance to a drought sensitive paddy genotype, IR-64. A total of 409 fungal isolates were obtained from 17 plant species adapted to arid habitats. They were morphologically classified into 52 Operational Taxonomic Units (OTU‟s). Aspergillus niger was the predominant fungi. Of these, 6 OTU‟s were able to significantly modulate the growth of paddy seedlings (IR-64 genotype) under PEG stress (-6 bars) compared to paddy seedlings that were not treated with endophytes. Gene expression studies of SAP-3 endophyte treated paddy seedlings did not indicate differential expression as compared to untreated seedling. More work needs to be done to unravel the mechanism of plantendophyte interactions, responsible for modulation of plant growth under stress.

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