In vitro screening of soil bacteria for inhibiting phytopathogenic fungi
At present, the greatest interest resides with the development and application of specific biocontrol agent for the control of diseases on plant and this form the focus of this work. Several soil bacteria were evaluated in vitro for their effectiveness on the basis of their ability to suppress fungi in plate inhibition assays. 51 strains of 12 bacterial species were performed against 12 strains of 10 phytopathogenic mould species. Almost all soil bacteria species; but about 50% of the bacteria strains, showed an antagonistic activity against at least one phytopathogenic fungus. Sphingomonans spp was the only specie that did not show any antagonistic effect to all fungi. Bradyrhizobium japonicum could highly inhibit the mycelial growth of five moulds (Botrytis cinerea, Phoma medicaginis, Fusarium verticilloides, Rhizoctonia solani and Phytophtora infestans) with a growth inhibition varying between 12.38 and 37.61%. 12 Bacillus strains and five Pseudomonas strains were antagonistic to the major phytopathogenic moulds used in this trial. Bacillus subtilis exhibited strong antagonism against fungi both from cultural medium and from sterile filtrate. Results show that bacterial suspension and bacterial supernatant did not operate in the same way. Supernatant from bacterial strains seemed to be efficient against phytopathogenic moulds. The mycelial growth of R. solani, P. medicaginis and F. verticilloides was inhibited by 12-fold dilution of the supernatant from B. japonicum. The latter draws a conclusion that bacteria isolated from soil are promising natural biocontrol agents and should be further studied and tested for the control of numerous plant diseases. Additional studies are required to definitively determine their mode of antifungal action, safety and biocompatibility.
Keywords: Bacteria, phytopathogenic fungi, antagonism