IMPROVED SALT TOLERANCE AND GROWTH PARAMETERS OF GROUNDNUT (ARACHIS HYPOGAEA L.) EMPLOYING HALOTOLERANT BACILLUS CEREUS SVSCD1 ISOLATED FROM SAURASHTRA REGION, GUJARATShweta Bhatt, Ragini Raghav and Neepa Pandhi
Plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) are used to augment plant growth and productivity of the plants under abiotic and biotic stress conditions. The present study focuses on analyzing the role of halotolerant rhizospheric bacteria isolated from groundnut plant for enhancing the plant growth under salinity stress. A total of 32 isolates were isolated from rhizospheric soils from Dholara and Junagadh, Saurashtra Region of Gujarat (India). All the isolates showed salt tolerance up to 6% sodium chloride and were screened in vitro for the plant growth promoting traits. Only D3 isolate displayed all PGP activities positive and was selected for further analysis. A substantial increase in all the growth parameters was recorded with PGPR D3 in salt stress conditions using autoclave and non-autoclaved soil. The plant showed a significant increase in root length, shoot length, fresh weight, dry weight, number of leaves and biochemical parameters (Chl a,b) in presence of PGPR D3 under salt stress (100mM). Hence D3 can be used as an alternative to chemical fertilizer and use for the enhancement of plant growth under salt stress.