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    Author(s): M. Esther Puente; Ching Y. Li; Yoav Bashan
    Date: 2009
    Source: Environmental and Experimental Botany. 66: 402-408
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Pacific Northwest Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (3.44 MB)


    A plant-bacterium association between the giant cardon cactus Pachycereus pringlei and endophytic bacteria help seedlings establish and grow on barren rock, This cactus, together with other desert plants, is responsible for weathering ancient lava flows in the Baja California Peninsula of Mexico.When cardon seeds are inoculated with endophytic bacteria, the seedlings grow in pulverized rock for at least a year without fertilization and without showing distress. The bacteria-plant association released significant amounts of necessary nutrients from the substrate. When endophytic bacteria were eliminated from the seeds by antibiotics, development of seedlings stopped. In complementary experiments of sterile seeds inoculated with the same endophytic bacteria, plant growth was restored. This study and the previous one show that, under extreme environmental conditions, a symbiotic relationship is present between endophytic bacteria and their cactus host.

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    Puente, M.E.; Li, C.Y.; Bashan, Y. 2009. Endophytic bacteria in cacti seeds can improve the development of cactus seedlings. Environmental and Experimental Botany. 66: 402-408.


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    Bacillus, cactus, cardon, desert, rock degradation, nitrogen fixation, Pachyereus, phosphate solubilization, rock weathering, soil formation

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