Honors Students' Abstracts
Isolation and Characterization of Cellulase Producing and Phosphate Solubilizing Rhizobacteria
Maria Shibatsuji, Salma Soltani
Bacteria are often associated with the roots of plants, and those that are beneficial to plants are referred to as plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR). We are interested in identifying novel rhizobacteria that may have potential as biofertilizers. Bacteria were isolated from the roots of Iris sp. and Taraxacum sp. and tested for properties characteristic of PGPRs. As of now, 75 of our isolates have been screened for phosphate solubilization, siderophore production, cellulase activity, and auxin production. We chose six isolates that showed cellulase activity and/or phosphate solubilization for further study and inoculated them on switchgrass in order to further determine their potential as PGPRs. We are currently working on sequencing of the 16S rDNA gene to identify these isolates. Through characterization of the isolates morphology and biochemical characteristics, we seek to isolate plant growth promoting rhizobacteria with potential for agricultural applications.