Archives of Microbiology

, Volume 187, Issue 5, pp 351–360 | Cite as

Volatiles of bacterial antagonists inhibit mycelial growth of the plant pathogen Rhizoctonia solani

  • Marco Kai
  • Uta Effmert
  • Gabriele Berg
  • Birgit PiechullaEmail author
Original Paper


Bacterial antagonists are bacteria that negatively affect the growth of other organisms. Many antagonists inhibit the growth of fungi by various mechanisms, e.g., secretion of lytic enzymes, siderophores and antibiotics. Such inhibition of fungal growth may indirectly support plant growth. Here, we demonstrate that small organic volatile compounds (VOCs) emitted from bacterial antagonists negatively influence the mycelial growth of the soil-borne phytopathogenic fungus Rhizoctonia solani Kühn. Strong inhibitions (99–80%) under the test conditions were observed with Stenotrophomonas maltophilia R3089, Serratia plymuthica HRO-C48, Stenotrophomonas rhizophila P69, Serratia odorifera 4Rx13, Pseudomonas trivialis 3Re2-7, S. plymuthica 3Re4-18 and Bacillus subtilis B2g. Pseudomonas fluorescens L13-6-12 and Burkholderia cepacia 1S18 achieved 30% growth reduction. The VOC profiles of these antagonists, obtained through headspace collection and analysis on GC-MS, show different compositions and complexities ranging from 1 to almost 30 compounds. Most volatiles are species-specific, but overlapping volatile patterns were found for Serratia spp. and Pseudomonas spp. Many of the bacterial VOCs could not be identified for lack of match with mass-spectra of volatiles in the databases.


Bacterial antagonists Volatile organic compounds Serratia spp. Stenotrophomonas spp. Pseudomonas spp. Staphylococcus epidermidis Burkholderia cepacia Bacillis subtilis Rhizoctonia solani 



The authors thank Hella Goschke (University of Rostock) for cultivating the antagonists and R. solani, Prof. Dr. W. Francke (University of Hamburg) for structural investigations of the Serratia odorifera VOC, and Prof. Dr. E. Pichersky (University of Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA) for critical reading the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marco Kai
    • 1
  • Uta Effmert
    • 1
  • Gabriele Berg
    • 2
  • Birgit Piechulla
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesUniversity of RostockRostockGermany
  2. 2.Environmental BiotechnologyGraz Technical UniversityGrazAustria

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