Diversity of root-associated Paenibacillus spp. in winter crops from the southern part of Korea

Hoon Cheong, Soo Young Park, Choong Min Ryu, Jihyun F. Kim, Seung Hwan Park, Chang Seuk Park

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26 Citations (Scopus)


The genus Paenibacillus is a new group of bacilli separated from the genus Bacillus, and most of species have been isolated from soil. In the present study, we collected 450 spore-forming bacilli from the roots of winter crops, such as barley, wheat, onion, green onion, and Chinese cabbage, which were cultivated in the southern part of Korea. Among these 450 isolates, 104 Paenibacillus-like isolates were selected, based on their colony shape, odor, color, and endospore morphology, and 41 isolates were then finally identified as Paenibacillus spp. by 16S rDNA sequencing. Among the 41 Paenibacillus isolates, 23 were classified as P. polymyxa, a type species of the genus Paenibacillus, based on comparison of the 16S rDNA sequences with those of 32 type strains of the genus Paenibacillus from the GenBank database. Thirty-five isolates among the 41 Paenibacillus isolates exhibited antagonistic activity towards plant fungal and bacterial pathogens, whereas 24 isolates had a significant growth-enhancing effect on cucumber seedlings, when applied to the seeds. An assessment of the root-colonization capacity under gnotobiotic conditions revealed that all 41 isolates were able to colonize cucumber roots without any significant difference. Twenty-one of the Paenibacillus isolates were shown to contain the nifH gene, which is an indicator of N2 fixation. However, the other 20 isolates, including the reference strain E681, did not incorporate the nifH gene. To investigate the diversity of the isolates, a BOX-PCR was performed, and the resulting electrophoresis patterns allowed the 41 Paenibacillus isolates to be divided into three groups (Groups A, B, and C). One group included Paenibacillus strains isolated mainly from barley or wheat, whereas the other two groups contained strains isolated from diverse plant samples. Accordingly, the present results showed that the Paenibacillus isolates collected from the rhizosphere of winter crops were diverse in their biological and genetic characteristics, and they are good candidates for further application studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1286-1298
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of microbiology and biotechnology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Dec

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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