ACC deaminase-producing bacteria mediated drought and salt tolerance in Capsicum annuum
Influence of drought and salt stress on different morphological and physiological growth parameters in Capsicum annuum inoculated with our isolates was estimated during the present study. Bulkhorderia cepacia was reported to possess the maximal, whereas Citrobacter feurendii the least plant growth promoting efficacy under salt and drought stress. ACC Deaminase activity of purified B. cepacia, C. feurendii and Serratia marcescens was 12.8 ± 0.44, 12.3 ± 0.56 and 11.7 ± 0.53 μM αKB mg−1 min−1 respectively. Under drought stress, B. cepacia showed maximum tolerance as it produced 4.893 ± 0.06 mg/mg protein of exopolysaccharide followed by C. feurendii and S. marcescens that produced 4.23 ± 0.03 and 3.46 ± 0.05 mg/mg protein, respectively. Chlorophyll “a” concentration was recorded 5.7 gm L−1 in B. cepacia inoculated plant (without stress) and was sustained till 2.9 gm L−1 even under the highest tested drought period. Chlorophyll “a” concentration in the B. cepacia inoculated plant under the highest tested NaCl concentration was 3.2 gm L−1. Thus, bacterial inoculation mitigates the effects of salinity by the proliferation of root system, increasing plant biomass proving to be potential bioinoculum for alleviating abiotic stress.