Communications in agricultural and applied biological sciences

Evaluation of antifungal activity of carbonate and bicarbonate salts alone or in combination with biocontrol agents in control of citrus green mold.

PMID 18396809


The aim of this research was to determine if the attacks of green mold on orange could be reduced by edible salts alone or in combination with biocontrol agent. For this purpose toxicity to Pantoea digitatum and practical use of sodium carbonate (SC), sodium bicarbonate (SBC) and potassium carbonate, and potassium bicarbonate alone or in combination with antagonistic bacteria (Pseudomonas fluorescens isolate PN, Bacillus subtilis isolate VHN, Pantoea agglomerans isolate CA) to control green mold were determined. All were fungistatic. SC and SBC were equal and superior to the other salts for control of green mold on oranges inoculated 6h before treatment and were chosen for subsequent trails under cold storage conditions. The biocontrol agents were found completely tolerant to 3% sodium bicarbonate and sodium carbonate at room temperature; although their culturability was reduced by > 1000-fold after 60 min in 1% other salt solutions. Satisfactory results were also obtained with the combined treatment for control of green mold. A significant increase in biocontrol activity of all isolate was observed when combined with sodium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate. The treatments comprising CA combined with SB was as effective as fungicide treatment. Thus, use of sodium bicarbonate treatment at 3% followed by the antagonist P. agglomerans CA could be an alternative to chemical fungicides for control of green mold on oranges.