Drought tolerant azotobacter strain azt-7 effect on growth and development of okra seedlings under drought stress

Mounika N., Muralidhara Rao D., Uma A., Sandhya V and SkZ. Ali

The present research was designed to study the effect of Azotobacter strain Azt-7 inoculation on growth and development of okra seedlings under drought stress condition. A total of 29 Azotobacter spp. were isolated from the rhizosphere soil of different crops covering arid and semi-arid regions. Among 29 strains, Azt-7 exhibited PGP traits such as IAA, ammonia production, phosphate solubilisation and tolerance to drought stress. The strain was identified as Azotobacter chroococcum by 16S rRNA sequence analysis and the gene sequence was submitted to GenBank under the accession number KT374218.1. Strain Azt-7 was evaluated for growth promotion of okra under non-stress and drought stress condition. Seeds inoculated with Azt-7 showed better growth in terms of shoot, root length and dry biomass under both the conditions whereas, uninoculated plants showed stunted growth, rolling and wilting of leaves under drought stress. Inoculation improved the accumulation of soluble sugars, amino acids, proline, chlorophyll, and protein content under non-stress and drought stress conditions. The present study suggests the possible role of microorganisms inmitigating adverse effects of climate changes on crop growth and may lead to the development of microbial products to mitigate such effects.

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