Evaluation of phyllosphere antagonistic bacteria on the management of Fusarium ear rot of maize caused by Fusarium verticillioides
Fusarium verticillioides is an insidious fungal pathogen of maize associated with diseases such as ear rot and kernel rot. It attacks the phyllosphere region of the maize plant especially on inflorescence and cobs. Thus, this study was conducted to isolate potential phyllosphere colonizing antagonistic microbes for the management of Fusarium ear rot. Four phyllosphere colonizing antagonistic bacteria were found to be effective in suppression of the growth of Fusarium verticillioides. Based on 16S rDNA analysis, these bacterial isolates were identified as Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolate 1, P. aeruginosa isolate 2, Bacillus subtilis isolate and B. amyloliquefaciens. Among these four phyllosphere bacteria tested against F. verticillioides, the maximum inhibition of mycelial growth of F. verticillioides and production of volatile compounds was exhibited by P. aeruginosa isolate 1. Application of P. aeruginosa isolate -1, as seed treatment @ 10 g/kg of seeds, soil application @ 5 g/pot and foliar spray @ 0.2 per cent, recorded the minimum PDI with the maximum disease reduction over control. Thus, the present study showed that P. aeruginosa isolated from agricultural ecosystem could be a potential phyllosphere antagonistic bacterium for the management of maize ear rot disease.
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