Distribution of culturable endophytic bacteria in lemon grass (Cymbopogon citratus)
Endophytic bacteria are currently being harnessed as potential sources of bioactive compounds, potential biofertilizers, and as tools for bioremediation. This therefore stresses the importance of searching for these noble bacteria in various plants. In the present study, fresh and apparently healthy leaves and roots of lemon grass were collected and surfacesterilized using 70% (v/v) Ethanol, 3% sodium hypochlorite solution and sterile distilled water. Isolation of endophytic bacteria was achieved using culture technique, while identification was done based on morphological, biochemical and microscopic characteristics. A total of 16 endophytic bacteria were isolated and identified as Bacillus spp. (3 isolates), Escherichia coli (1 isolate), Klebsiella pnuemoniae (3 isolates), Micrococcus spp. (3 isolates), Pseudomonas spp. (1 isolate), Rhizobium (2 isolates) and Staphylococcus aureus (3 isolates). The root portions of the plant harbour 10 (62.5%) of the entire endophytic bacteria isolated, while the leaves harbour the remaining 6 (37.5%). Gram negative rod- shaped bacteria are the dominant of all the bacteria in the roots (50%), whereas, in the leaves, Gram positive cocci are the dominant (50% of all). No Gram negative cocci were isolated from the plant. In conclusion, Lemon grass harbours diverse genera of endophytic bacteria present both in the roots and leaves of the plant, but the roots harbour higher populations of the bacteria.
Keywords: Endophytic bacteria, Lemon grass, Root, Leaf, Isolation