, Volume 66, Issue 4, pp 360-366

Studies on Endophytic Actinomycetes ( I ) Streptomyces sp. Isolated from Rhododendron and Its Antifungal Activity

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To survey endophytic actinomycetes as potential biocontrol agents against fungal diseases of rhododendron, young plants of rhododendron were surface-sterilized for use as an isolation source. Nine, six and two isolates, with distinguishing characteristics based on the macroscopic appearance of colonies, were obtained from roots, stems and leaves, respectively, suggesting that various species of actinomycetes grow in the respective organs of this plant as symbionts or parasites. On an agar medium, only isolate R-5 commonly formed a clear growth-inhibition zone against two major fungal pathogens of rhododendron, Phytophthora cinnamomi and Pestalotiopsis sydowiana, indicating that this isolate can produce antifungal material(s). Acetone extracts of a liquid culture of R-5 had a broad antimicrobial spectrum against Gram-positive bacteria, yeast and filamentous fungi. Isolate R-5 was identified as a Streptomyces sp. based on morphological, physiological and chemotaxonomical characteristics. The present results indicate that isolate R-5 is a suitable candidate for the biocontrol of diseases of rhododendron.

Received 25 March 2000/ Accepted in revised form 18 May 2000