, Volume 24, Issue 11, pp 2499-2507
Date: 19 Jun 2008

Water-soluble granules containing Bacillus megaterium for biological control of rice sheath blight: formulation, bacterial viability and efficacy testing

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Endospores of B. megaterium were formulated in granule formulations with sodium alginate, lactose and polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP K-30) by the wet granulation technique. The granule formulation exhibited good physical characteristics, such as high-water solubility and optimal viscosity, that would be suitable for spray application. The bacteria remained viable in the dry granule formulation at 109 c.f.u./g after 24 months storage at room temperature. Under laboratory conditions, aqueous solutions of the formulation showed high activity against mycelial growth of R. solani (99.64 ± 0.14% mycelial inhibition). High viability of the bacterial antagonist on leaf sheath and leaf blade at day 7 after spraying with the formulation was observed (approximately 106 c.f.u./g of plant). Application of an equivalent number of un-formulated endospores resulted in much loss of the bacterial endospores even 1 day after application. In a small pilot field study, an aqueous solution of the formulation (3%w/v) applied by spraying at days 1, 5 and 10 after pathogen inoculation of the rice plants was more effective in suppressing rice sheath blight disease than one application of a fungicide (Iprodione) at day 1. Additionally, rice plants sprayed with the aqueous solution of the granule formulation had higher panicle and whole kernel weights than those of fungicide-treated and control (untreated) plants.