Author(s): Zachow C, Grosch R, Berg G
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Abstract The plant pathogen Rhizoctonia solani is very difficult to control due to its persistent, long-living sclerotial structures in soil. Sclerotia are the main source of infection for Rhizoctonia diseases, which cause high yield losses on a broad host range world-wide. Little is known about micro-organisms associated with sclerotia in soil. Therefore, microbial communities of greenhouse and field incubated Rhizoctonia sclerotia were analysed by a multiphasic approach. Using microbial fingerprints performed by PCR-SSCP, sclerotia-associated bacterial communities showed a high diversity, whereas only a few fungi could be detected. Statistical analysis of fingerprints revealed the influence of soil types, incubation conditions (greenhouse, field), and incubation time (5 and 12 weeks) on the bacterial as well as fungal community. No significant differences were found for the microbial community associated with different Rhizoctonia anastomosis sub-groups (AG 1-IB and AG 1-IC). Rhizoctonia sclerotia are an interesting bio-resource: high proportions of fungal cell-wall degrading isolates as well as those with antagonistic activity towards R. solani were found. While a fraction of 28.4\% of sclerotia-associated bacteria (=40 isolates) with antagonistic properties was determined, only 4.4\% (=6 isolates) of the fungal isolates were antagonistic. We identified strong antagonists of the genera Bacillus, Enterobacter, Pseudomonas, and Stenotrophomonas, which can be used as biological control agents incorporated in soil or applied to Rhizoctonia host plants.
This article was published in Appl Soil Ecol
and referenced in Journal of Plant Pathology & Microbiology