alexa Biological control of cucumber and sugar beet damping-off caused by Pythium ultimum with bacterial and fungal antagonists.
Genetics & Molecular Biology

Genetics & Molecular Biology

Fungal Genomics & Biology

Author(s): Georgakopoulos DG, Fiddaman P, Leifert C, Malathrakis NE

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Abstract AIMS: Five bacterial strains belonging to Bacillus subtilis, Pseudomonas fluorescens and Ps. corrugata and two fungal strains belonging to Trichoderma viride and Gliocladium virens were evaluated for their efficacy in controlling sugar beet and cucumber damping-off caused by Pythium ultimum. METHODS AND RESULTS: The in vitro antagonistic activity of bacteria against various Pythium spp. was evaluated with dual cultures in various media. Pseudomonas strains inhibited the pathogen better than Bacillus strains. To identify potentially useful antagonist combinations, dual compatibility of antagonists was also evaluated, based on growth in two liquid media containing substrate previously used by other antagonists. Four pairs of bacteria were selected. Sugar beet damping-off biocontrol was attempted with bacterial seed treatments (individually and in pairs). Cucumber damping-off biocontrol was attempted with bacterial seed treatments and bacterial and fungal compost treatments. In sugar beet, satisfactory biocontrol was only achieved with Pseudomonas antagonists. Antagonist combinations did not show any superior biocontrol ability to individual antagonists and compatibility of bacteria in vitro did not correlate with compatibility in vivo. Bacterial seed treatments and fungal compost treatments failed to control cucumber damping-off. Better biocontrol in cucumber was achieved when bacterial antagonists were applied by drenching or by coating seed with bacteria in a peat carrier. CONCLUSIONS: Pseudomonas antagonists were superior to Bacillus antagonists in controlling damping-off in cucumber and sugar beet. Pseudomonas peat inocula maintained a good shelf-life 2 years after preparation. SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY: Pseudomonas peat formulations have the potential for development into commercial biopesticides.
This article was published in J Appl Microbiol and referenced in Fungal Genomics & Biology

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