Antagonistic bacteria of composted agro-industrial residues exhibit antibiosis against soil-borne fungal plant pathogens and protection of tomato plants from Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. radicis-lycopersici
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- Kavroulakis, N., Ntougias, S., Besi, M.I. et al. Plant Soil (2010) 333: 233. doi:10.1007/s11104-010-0338-x
Rhizospheric and root-associated/endophytic (RAE) bacteria were isolated from tomato plants grown in three suppressive compost-based plant growth media derived from the olive mill, winery and Agaricus bisporus production agro-industries. Forty-four (35 rhizospheric and 9 RAE) out of 329 bacterial strains showed in vitro antagonistic activity against at least one of the soil-borne fungal pathogens, Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. radicis-lycopersici (FORL), F. oxysporum f.sp. raphani, Phytophthora cinnamomi, P. nicotianae and Rhizoctonia solani. The high percentage of total isolates showing antagonistic properties (13%) and their common chitinase and β-glucanase activities indicate that the cell wall constituents of yeasts and macrofungi that proliferate in these compost media may have become a substrate that favours the establishment of antagonistic bacteria to soil-borne fungal pathogens. The selected bacterial strains were further evaluated for their suppressiveness to tomato crown and root rot disease caused by FORL. A total of six rhizospheric isolates, related to known members of the genera Bacillus, Lysinibacillus, Enterobacter and Serratia and one RAE associated with Alcaligenes faecalis subsp. were selected, showing statistically significant decrease of plant disease incidence. Inhibitory effects of extracellular products of the most effective rhizospheric biocontrol agent, Enterobacter sp. AR1.22, but not of the RAE Alcaligenes sp. AE1.16 were observed on the growth pattern of FORL. Furthermore, application of cell-free culture extracts, produced by Enterobacter sp. AR1.22, to tomato roots led to plant protection against FORL, indicating a mode of biological control action through antibiosis.