Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 30, pp 29784–29793 | Cite as

Lipopeptides produced by Bacillus subtilis as new biocontrol products against fusariosis in ornamental plants

  • Gabriela Mihalache
  • Tiberius Balaes
  • Irina Gostin
  • Marius Stefan
  • François Coutte
  • François KrierEmail author
Chemistry, Activity and Impact of Plant Biocontrol products


In this study, we have investigated the effects of three lipopeptides (fengycin, surfactin and mycosubtilin) produced by different strains of Bacillus subtilis against the phytopathogenic fungi Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. iridacearum, which affects the ornamental bulb plant populations of Iris sp. The antifungal effects were tested using minimum inhibitory concentration assay, determination of mycelium growth and spore germination inhibition rates. Also, in vivo tests on infected rhizomes and scanning electron microscopy were employed. Mycosubtilin alone and in combination with fengycin or/and surfactin showed potent inhibitory activity at concentrations as low as 5 μg ml−1 which is 100 times lower compared to Topsin M, a common chemical fungicide frequently used against fusariosis in ornamental plants. An enhancement of mycosubtilin antifungal activity was observed when it was used in combination with surfactin due to a synergistic effect. At a concentration of 20 μg ml−1, mycosubtilin inhibited the growth of the mycelium up to 49% and the spore germination ability up to 26% in comparison to control. In addition, significant changes on the macro- and micro-morphology have been observed. The antifungal activity is related to the inhibition of spore germination and the irreversible damage of the hyphae cell wall. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first attempt to propose the lipopeptides as biopesticides against the fusariosis of ornamental plants.


Lipopeptides Synergism Fusariosis Ornamental plants Biopesticides Bacillus subtilis 



The authors would like to thank Professor PhD Catalin Tanase, Director of Botanic Garden of Iasi, for her kind support and Corentin Duthoo for his participation in lipopeptide purification. Part of this work was supported by two PHCs—Brancusi partnership grants: project number 780/30.06.2014 and Romanian National Authority for Scientific Research and project number 32634WC (lipofleur)—Campus France. This work was also partially supported by the project NewBioPest funded by the Regional Council Nord Pas-de-Calais, by the Alibiotech project financed by European Union, French State and the French Region of Hauts-de-France and by the European Funds of INTERREG V FWVL Bioprod Project. We thank Dr. Debarun Dhali for the English proofreading.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gabriela Mihalache
    • 1
  • Tiberius Balaes
    • 2
  • Irina Gostin
    • 1
  • Marius Stefan
    • 1
  • François Coutte
    • 3
  • François Krier
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Faculty of Biology, Biology DepartmentAlexandru Ioan Cuza University of IasiIasiRomania
  2. 2.Anastasie Fatu Botanical GardenAlexandru Ioan Cuza University of IasiIasiRomania
  3. 3.Université Lille, INRA, ISA, Université d’ArtoisUniversité Littoral Côte d’OpaleLilleFrance

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