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Endophytic colonization ability of two deep-water rice endophytes, Pantoea sp. and Ochrobactrum sp. using green fluorescent protein reporter.
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Colonization ability of the two endophytic bacteria, isolated from surface sterilized seeds of Jaisurya variety of deep-water rice viz., Pantoea sp. and Ochrobactrum sp., was compared after genetically tagging them with a constitutively expressing green fluorescent protein gene (gfp). Confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) of hydroponically grown seedlings of Jaisurya rice, inoculated with gfp-tagged endophytes, revealed that both Pantoea sp. and Ochrobactrum sp. colonized the intercellular spaces in the root cortex when inoculated separately. Colonization by gfp-tagged Ochrobactrum sp. was severely inhibited when co-inoculated with an equal number (10(5) c.f.u. ml(-1)) of wild type Pantoea sp., but the converse was not true. Pantoea sp. was a more aggressive endophytic colonizer of its host than Ochrobactrum sp. The potential of using GFP reporter and CLSM as tools in evaluating competitive ability of colonization among endophytes is herewith demonstrated.