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  • Volatile Compounds of Endophytic Bacillus spp. have Biocontrol Activity Against Sclerotinia sclerotiorum.

Volatile Compounds of Endophytic Bacillus spp. have Biocontrol Activity Against Sclerotinia sclerotiorum.

Phytopathology (2018-06-22)
Venance Colman Massawe, Alvina Hanif, Ayaz Farzand, David Kibe Mburu, Sylvans Ochieng Ochola, Liming Wu, Hafiz Abdul Samad Tahir, Qin Gu, Huijun Wu, Xuewen Gao
ABSTRACT

To develop an effective biological agent to control Sclerotinia sclerotiorum, three endophytic Bacillus spp. strains with high antagonistic activity were isolated from maize seed and characterized. In vitro assays revealed that the Bacillus endophytes could produce volatile organic compounds (VOC) that reduced sclerotial production and inhibited mycelial growth of S. sclerotiorum. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry revealed that the selected strains produced 16 detectable VOC. Eight of the produced VOC exhibited negative effects on S. sclerotiorum, while a further four induced accumulation of reactive oxygen species in mycelial cells. A mixture of VOC produced by Bacillus velezensis VM11 caused morphological changes in the ultrastructure and organelle membranes of S. sclerotiorum mycelial cells. The bromophenol blue assay revealed a yellow color of untreated fungal mycelium, which grew faster and deeper from 24 to 72 h postinoculation, as an indication of reduced pH. The potassium permanganate (KMnO4) titration assay showed that the rate of oxalic acid accumulation was higher in minimal salt liquid medium cultures inoculated with untreated fungal plugs compared with the Bacillus VOC-treated ones. Interestingly, biological control assays using host-plant leaves challenged with treated fungal mycelial plugs produced reduced lesions compared with the control. These findings provide new viable possibilities of controlling diseases caused by S. sclerotiorum using VOC produced by Bacillus endophytes.