Ochrobactrum ciceri mediated induction of defence genes and antifungal metabolites enhance the biocontrol efficacy for the management of Botrytis leaf blight of Lilium under protected conditions

  • Rajendran Priyanka
  • Sevugapperumal NakkeeranEmail author
Original Article


Biological control with bacterial bioagents is a cost-effective method for the management of foliar diseases of cut flowers under protected conditions. The antagonistic microflora in Lilium ecosystem was exploited and its potential against Botrytis cinerea was assessed for its management. However, the bacterial antagonist Ochrobactrum ciceri has not been explored for management of B. cinerea, a pathogen causing leaf blight of Lilium. In the present study, 42 bacterial antagonists were tested for their antifungal activity against B. cinerea. Among them, the growth of B. cinerea was suppressed up to 46% by O. ciceri (MM17) in vitro. GC/MS analysis of crude metabolites of O. ciceri (MM17) co-cultured with cell wall of B. cinerea produced four antifungal non-volatile metabolites when compared with the solely cultured bacterium. Similarly, gas chromatography/mass spectometry-thermal desorption (GC/MS-TD) analysis of the volatile metabolites of O. ciceri (MM17) indicated that the bacterium produced growth promoting compounds upon interaction with the cell wall of B. cinerea apart from the antibacterial compounds. However, no growth promoting compounds were produced when the bacterium was cultured separately. Further, qRT-PCR analysis revealed an increase in the expression profile of PAL (34.49 folds), PR 10 (4.02 folds) and ascorbate peroxidase (APX) (15.55 folds) transcripts when treated with O. ciceri (MM17), challenged against B. cinerea (SEL). Further, the efficacy of antagonist bacterial strains was assessed for the management of Botrytis leaf blight under protected conditions. Foliar application of O. ciceri (MM17) under protected conditions suppressed leaf blight by 77% and increased the stem yield. This study highlights the potential of O. ciceri (MM17) for the management of Lilium leaf blight under protected cultivation.


Lilium Botrytis Ochrobactrum Volatile compounds Non-volatile compounds Defence genes 



The authors would like to give special thanks for the encouragement provided by Dr. V. G. Malathi, Dr. P. Renukadevi and Dr. T. C. K. Sugitha. The support provided by Professor and Head, Department of Plant Pathology and Dr. U. Sivakumar, The Dean, School of Post Graduate studies, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University are deeply acknowledged. The authors would also like to acknowledge DST FIST, UGC-SAP and ICAR for funding.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Statement of human and animal rights

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by the any of the authors.

Supplementary material

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Phenotypic characters of fifteen B. cinerea strains (PNG 1780 kb)

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High Resolution Image (TIF 575 kb)
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ESM 4 PCR amplification of Botrytis cinerea strains. M – 100 bp ladder, Lane 1 – PB, Lane 2 – BSl, Lane 3 – AR, Lane 4 – SEL, Lane 5 – SOR, Lane 6 – AC1, Lane 7 – ER, Lane 8 – SIB, Lane 9 – AC2, Lane 10 –JP, Lane 11 – SEV, Lane 12 – NV, Lane 13 – BR, Lane 14 – BO, Lane 15 – HN, Lane P – Positive control (JPG 447 kb)
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ESM 5 PCR amplification of 16S rRNA of bacterial strains Lane L – 100 bp Ladder, Lane1 – MM1, Lane2 – MM 2, Lane 3- MM 3, Lane 4 – MM 4, Lane 5 – MM 5, Lane 6 – MM 6, Lane 7 – MM 7, Lane 8- MM 8, Lane 9 – MM 9, Lane10 – MM 10, Lane11 – MM 11, Lane 12- MM 12, Lane 13 – MM 13, Lane 14 – MM 14, Lane 15 – MM15, Lane16 – MM 16, Lane17 – MM17, Lane 18- MM 18, Lane 19 – MM 19, Lane 20 – MM 20, Lane 21 – MM 21 (JPG 652 kb)
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ESM 6 Suppression of mycelial growth of B. cinerea by the bacterial strains through dual culture plate test (JPG 4409 kb)
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ESM 7 Suppression of mycelial growth of B. cinerea by the bacterial strains using spot inoculation method. (JPG 1174 kb)
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ESM 12 Efficacy of bacterial strains on the suppression Lilium leaf blight and plant growth promotion under protected cultivation. (JPG 346 kb)
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ESM 13 (DOC 42 kb)


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Copyright information

© Società Italiana di Patologia Vegetale (S.I.Pa.V.) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Plant PathologyTamil Nadu Agricultural UniversityCoimbatoreIndia

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