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Plant Microbes Symbiosis: Applied Facets
2015, Pages: 163-177

Abiotic and Biotic Plant Stress-Tolerant and Beneficial Secondary Metabolites Produced by Endophytic Bacillus Species

Charles W. Bacon, Edwin R. Palencia, Dorothy M. Hinton

USDA, ARS, Russell Research Center, Athens, GA, 30605, USA.


Knowledge of endophytic bacteria and their potential for protecting crops has targeted the endophytic species of Bacillus as a valued microorganism not only for disease protection but also for inducing plant defense mechanisms. Bacillus species and their endophytic strains are also used for a wide range of antibiotics that inhibit pathogens directly impacting cellular structures or at the molecular and physiological levels. The endophytic species and strains produce fungal inhibitory compounds that belong to three broad families of lipopeptides, and these include the bacillomycins, fengycins, and surfactins. Bacilli also produce the ribosomally synthesized antimicrobial peptides, bacteriocins, which have been implemented in plant protection schemes to control fungal and bacterial diseases. Others have yet to be identified. These compounds form the basis of intense activity ranging from acute toxicity to serving as signal transduction systems for specific cellular functions, organelle formation, and responses to environmental changes and challenges. This review addresses some evidence of endophytic bacillus impacts on alleviating plant stresses, both abiotic and biotic with suggestions on future studies necessary for specific mechanisms that may assist in increasing their performance as biocontrol agents.


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