The objective of this study was to evaluate in vitro the endophytic bacteria resistance to different lead concentrations. The sampling was undertaken in the first half of 2013, when tissue samples of commercial varieties of rice at tillering stage were collected in Montería, Cordoba, Colombia. Each tissue was subjected to surface cleaning. Endophytic bacteria in agar R2A medium were isolated. Population density (CFU/g tissue) was determined from each tissue, by direct counting of R2A medium surface. morphotypes were classified by shape, color, size, and appearance. A total of 168 morphotypes were isolated from root, tillers, and leaf of different commercial varieties of rice. The lead resistance test was performed in vitro, to do that, suspensions of endophytic bacteria in log phase were prepared and inoculated in minimal medium with five concentrations of lead as Pb(NO3)2. The experiment was incubated at 32 °C and agitated at 150 rpm, for five days. Every hour afterstarting the test, turbidimetry measuring at 600 nm was conducted. Results showed the ability of endophytic bacteria to grow at concentrations of 100% of Pb as Pb(NO3)2. The results of the identification with kit API20E confirmed the presence of Burkholderia cepacia and Pseudomonas putida, which showed resistance to different lead concentrations.

Keywords: Oryza sativa, endophytic microorganisms, phytoremediation.