ISOLATION AND PLASMID TRANSFER ON THE PHYLLOSPHERE COLONIZING BACILLI ISOLATED FROM CROP PLANTS ABELMOSCHLTS ESCULENTLIS (OKRA), LYCOPERSICON ESCLILENTLIM (TOMATO) AND SOLANUM MELONGENA (EGG PLANT)S. JOHN VENNISON* M. CHANDRAMOHAN AND J. PRINCE RAJA SINGH
A few phyllosphere colonizing bacterial strains were isolated from crop plants such as Abelmoschus esculentus (Okra), Lycopersicon esculentum (Tomato), Solarium melongena (Eggplant). The isolated bacterial strains were identified as Gram positive, endospore forming Bacillus. Totally six Bacilli strains were used for colonizing studies with the phyllospheres of the same plant from which the strains were originally isolated. Colonizing studies were performed by spraying sporulated cultures of isolated bacteria on both adaxial and abaxial surfaces of leaves. Phyllosphere colonizing ability of inoculated bacteria was studied from zero day to thirtieth day. Based on these studies three strains were found to colonize stably from zero to thirtieth day. These strains were used for plasmid transfer studies using a conjugative plasmid. The plasmid DNA was conjugated into the three selected Bacillus strains through bacterial conjugation by filter mating. Three strains were found to harbor the plasmid DNA stably for more than twenty generations. The results suggested that the three Bacillis strains isolated from crop plants could be used for heterlogous expression of insecticidal genes from Bacillus thuringiensis as biopesticides.
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