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Journal of Advanced Research
Vol. 7 (2), 2016, Pages: 305–316

Plant-based culture media: Efficiently support culturing rhizobacteria and correctly mirror their in-situ diversity

Hanan H. Youssef, Mervat A. Hamza, Mohamed Fayez, Elhussein F. Mourad, Mohamed Y. Saleh, Mohamed S. Sarhan, Ragab M. Suker, Asmaa A. Eltahlawy, Rahma A. Nemr, Mahmod El-Tahan, Silke Ruppel, Nabil A. Hegazi

Environmenal Studies and Research Unit (ESRU), Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Agriculture, Cairo University, Giza, Egypt.


Our previous publications and the data presented here provide evidences on the ability of plant-based culture media to optimize the cultivability of rhizobacteria and to support their recovery from plant-soil environments. Compared to the tested chemically-synthetic culture media (e.g. nutrient agar and N-deficient combined-carbon sources media), slurry homogenates, crude saps, juices and powders of cactus (Opuntia ficus-indica) and succulent plants (Aloe vera and Aloe arborescens) were rich enough to support growth of rhizobacteria. Representative isolates of Enterobacter spp., Klebsiella spp., Bacillus spp. and Azospirillum spp. exhibited good growth on agar plates of such plant-based culture media. Cell growth and biomass production in liquid batch cultures were comparable to those reported with the synthetic culture media. In addition, the tested plant-based culture media efficiently recovered populations of rhizobacteria associated to plant roots. Culturable populations of >106–108 cfu g-1 were recovered from the ecto- and endo-rhizospheres of tested host plants. More than 100 endophytic culture-dependent isolates were secured and subjected to morphophysiological identification. Factor and cluster analyses indicated the unique community structure, on species, genera, class and phyla levels, of the culturable population recovered with plant-based culture media, being distinct from that obtained with the chemically-synthetic culture media. Proteobacteria were the dominant (78.8%) on plant-based agar culture medium compared to only 31% on nutrient agar, while Firmicutes prevailed on nutrient agar (69%) compared to the plant-based agar culture media (18.2%). Bacteroidetes, represented by Chryseobacterium indologenes, was only reported (3%) among the culturable rhizobacteria community of the plant-based agar culture medium.

Keywords: Plant-based culture media; Rhizobacteria; Cultivability; Community structure of rhizobacteria; Cactus; Succulent plants.

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