, Volume 193, Issue 4, pp 275-286
Date: 14 Jan 2011

Azospirillum brasilense siderophores with antifungal activity against Colletotrichum acutatum

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Anthracnose, caused by the fungus Colletotrichum acutatum is one of the most important diseases in strawberry crop. Due to environmental pollution and resistance produced by chemical fungicides, nowadays biological control is considered a good alternative for crop protection. Among biocontrol agents, there are plant growth-promoting bacteria, such as members of the genus Azospirillum. In this work, we demonstrate that under iron limiting conditions different strains of A. brasilense produce siderophores, exhibiting different yields and rates of production according to their origin. Chemical assays revealed that strains REC2 and REC3 secrete catechol type siderophores, including salicylic acid, detected by thin layer chromatography coupled with fluorescence spectroscopy and gas chromatography–mass spectrometry analysis. Siderophores produced by them showed in vitro antifungal activity against C. acutatum M11. Furthermore, this latter coincided with results obtained from phytopathological tests performed in planta, where a reduction of anthracnose symptoms on strawberry plants previously inoculated with A. brasilense was observed. These outcomes suggest that some strains of A. brasilense could act as biocontrol agent preventing anthracnose disease in strawberry.

Communicated by Jorge Membrillo-Hernandez.