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Basic and Applied Investigations on Endophytic Microorganisms in Horticultural Crops

Principal Investigators:     PI :Dr. Pious Thomas

 

Objectives:

  1. Elucidation of endophytic microbial association with horticultural crops including non-culturable organisms,
  2. Isolation, identification and characterization of endophytic organisms,
  3. Exploitation of useful organisms towards applications in agriculture and allied areas.

 

Significant achievements:

 

Elucidation of the ubiquitous association of endophytic bacteria:

 

Microscopic examination of tissue extract and tissue homogenate in banana and watermelon showed the presence of endophytic bacteria in abundant numbers. Tissue colonization in watermelon by diverse bacteria was confirmed with PCR screening employing markers specific for α, β and γ-proteobacteria, actinobacteria and firmicutes and this was endorsed with vital staining using triphenyltetrazolium chloride (TTC). The non-culturability of the vast majority of organisms appeared to be the reason why the association has gone unnoticed.

 

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