Evaluation of bacteria isolated from rice rhizosphere for biological control of charcoal rot of sorghum caused by Macrophomina phaseolina (Tassi) Goid.

  • Subramaniam Gopalakrishnan
  • Pagidi Humayun
  • Bandru Keerthi Kiran
  • Iyer Girish Kumar Kannan
  • Meesala Sree Vidya
  • Kanala Deepthi
  • Om Rupela
Original Paper


A total of 360 bacteria, isolated from the rhizospheres of a system of rice intensification (SRI) fields, were characterized for the production of siderophore, fluorescence, indole acetic acid (IAA), hydrocyanic acid (HCN) and solubilization of phosphorus. Of them, seven most promising isolates (SRI-156, -158, -178, -211, -229, -305 and -360) were screened for their antagonistic potential against Macrophomina phaseolina (causes charcoal rot in sorghum) by dual culture assay, blotter paper assay and in greenhouse. All the seven isolates inhibited M. phaseolina in dual culture assay, whereas six isolates solubilized phosphorous (except SRI-360), all seven produced siderophore, four produced fluorescence (except SRI-178, -229 and -305), six produced IAA (except SRI-305) and five produced HCN (except SRI-158 and -305). In the blotter paper assay, no charcoal rot infection was observed in SRI-156-treated sorghum roots, indicating complete inhibition of the pathogen, while the roots treated with the other isolates showed 49–76% lesser charcoal rot infection compared to the control. In the antifungal activity test (in green house on sorghum), all the isolates increased shoot dry mass by 15–23% and root dry mass by 15–20% (except SRI-158 and -360), over the control. In order to confirm the plant growth-promoting (PGP) traits of the isolates, the green house experiment was repeated but, in the absence of M. phaseolina. The results further confirmed the PGP traits of the isolates as evidenced by increases in shoot and root dry mass, 22–100% and 5–20%, respectively, over the control. The sequences of 16S rDNA gene of the isolates SRI-156, -158, -178, -211, -229, -305 and -360 were matched with Pseudomonas plecoglossicida, Brevibacterium antiquum, Bacillus altitudinis, Enterobacter ludwigii, E. ludwigii, Acinetobacter tandoii and P. monteilii, respectively in BLAST analysis. This study indicates that the selected bacterial isolates have the potential for PGP and control of charcoal rot disease in sorghum.


Biocontrol Antagonistic bacteria Charcoal rot Macrophomina phaseolina Sorghum PGPR 



Analysis of variance


Colony forming unit


Hydrocyanic acid


Indole acetic acid

M. phaseolina

Macrophomina phaseolina


Potato dextrose agar


Potato dextrose broth


Plant growth promoting


Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria


System of rice intensification



We thank the National Bureau of Agriculturally Important Microorganisms (NBAIM) for providing financial support and Mrs. A Annapurna of National Regional Center for Sorghum, Hyderabad, India, for providing the reference strains. We also thank all the staff of biocontrol unit of ICRISAT including M/s P. V. S. Prasad, P. Manohar, B. Nagappa, M. Satyam, D. Barath, A. Jabbar and D. Nagabushnam for their significant inputs in the laboratory and greenhouse studies.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Subramaniam Gopalakrishnan
    • 1
  • Pagidi Humayun
    • 1
  • Bandru Keerthi Kiran
    • 1
  • Iyer Girish Kumar Kannan
    • 1
  • Meesala Sree Vidya
    • 1
  • Kanala Deepthi
    • 1
  • Om Rupela
    • 1
  1. 1.Global Theme-Crop Improvement, International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT)PatancheruIndia

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