Inorganic phosphate-solubilizing bacteria (IPB) are an important component of microbial populations in lake sediments. The phosphate that they decompose and release becomes an important source of phosphorus for eutrophic algae. The IPB strains were screened and isolated from the sediments of Sancha Lake using National Botanical Research Institute’s phosphate (NBRIP) plates. Their taxonomy was further determined by the 16S rDNA technique. The tricalcium phosphate-solubilizing ability of obtained IPB strains was evaluated using NBRIP- bromophenol blue (BPB) plates and Pikovskaya (PVK) liquid medium. Then, the ability of IPB strains to release phosphorus from the sediments were investigated by mimicking the lake environment. In this study, a total of 43 IPB strains were screened and isolated from the sediments of Sancha Lake, belonging to three phyla, eight families, and ten genera. Among them, two potentially new strains, SWSI1728 and SWSI1734, belonged to genus Bacillus, and a potentially new strain, SWSI1719, belonged to family Micromonosporaceae. Overall, the IBP strains were highly diverse and Bacillus and Paenibacillus were the dominant genera. In the tricalcium phosphate-solubilizing experiment, only 30 of the 43 IPB strains exhibited clear halo zones on plates, while in the liquid culture experiment, all strains were able to dissolve tricalcium phosphate. The phosphate-solubilizing abilities of the strains varied significantly, and the strain SWSI1725 of the Bacillus
genus showed the strongest ability with a phosphate-solubilizing content of 103.57 mg/L. The sterilized systems demonstrated significantly elevated phosphorus hydrochloride (HCl–P) decomposition and release from the sediments after the inoculation of IPB strains, whereas no significant effect was demonstrated on the phosphonium hydroxide (NaOH-P). Thus, the IPB strains in the sediments of Sancha Lake possessed rich diversity and the ability to release phosphorus in sediments.
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