SUMMARY: Cultures of strain 6 were grown for 14 days in a nitrogen-deficient mineral medium, the supernatant fluid and bacteria extracted and examined by paper partition chromatography with two solvent systems which separate authentic gibberellin (GA) and indolyl-3-acetic acid (IAA). Gibberellin-like substances were not detected on the chromatograms examined under ultraviolet (u.v.) radiation, but were detected when chromatograms were cut into ten equal strips representing a sequence of values and the eluates tested in dwarf pea and lettuce hypocotyl bioassays. Certain eluates applied to the roots of tomato seedlings also altered the later growth of stems, leaves and flowers. The Azotobacter cultures contained three gibberellin-like substances, of which probably the dominant was one with an value similar to that of GA; the other two were not identified. The average concentration of gibberellin/ml. culture was 0.03 μg. GA equivalent. The gibberellins in Azotobacter cultures probably cause the reported effects on plant development and yield when seeds or roots are inoculated with Azotobacter. Plant growth may also be affected by synthesis of further gibberellins in the root zone when the Azotobacter inoculum colonizes developing roots.


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