COMPARATIVE STUDY OF EPIPHYTIC AND ENDOPHYTIC BACTERIA ASSOCIATED WITH SEEDS OF ZEA MAYS L.Abarna Ravichandran, Kalaiselvi Thangavel and Anandham Rangasamy
Maize (Zea mays. L) is a third most important cereal grain cultivated throughout the world, contributing 782 mt for world cereal production. The seeds of maize are the source for next generation and is associated with plethora of microorganisms both externally and internally. the present study aims at isolation and comparison of epiphytes and endophytes of seed associated bacterial communities of different maize genotypes in the premise of Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore. The beneficial aspects of epiphytic and endophytic bacteria have potential to establish the plant microbiome through vertical transmission. The transmission of microorganisms from parents to progeny having positive influence on plant health and fitness which confirms the presence of symbiotic partners. The colonization frequency of both epiphytes and endophytes differs greatly whereas the diversity and abundance of bacterial population was higher in epiphytes than in endophytes. This study revealed the existence of significant differences in bacterial population between the epiphytic and endophytic microorganisms.