Natural Resources

Volume 4, Issue 2 (June 2013)

ISSN Print: 2158-706X   ISSN Online: 2158-7086

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Forest Fairy Ring Fungi Clitocybe nebularis, Soil Bacillus spp., and Plant Extracts Exhibit in Vitro Antagonism on Dieback Phytophthora Species

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DOI: 10.4236/nr.2013.42025    3,257 Downloads   5,045 Views   Citations


In vitro Kirby-Bauer disc-diffusion assays coupled with bio-imaging software techniques were used to assess native forest dwelling “fairy ring” forming fungi (Clitocybe nebularis) and co-habitant forest tree-root colonising non pathogenic, antibiotic producing bacteria (Bacillus licheniformis, Bacillus pumilis) for their antagonism towards Japanese larch dieback oomycetes phytopathogens which also affects ornamental alternative hosts. The aqueous extracts of C. nebularis exhibited the highest clearance (inhibitory) zone of 21.4 × 105 pixels = 573%) against Phytophthora ramorum than growth/clear zone Cartesian integrates recorded in untreated (control) disc (3.7 × 105 pixels = 100%) over 3-day incubation. The fairy ring fungal extracts also exhibited substantive antagonism against P. kernoviae (147%), P. lateralis (347%) and a solanaceous crop infecting P. infestans (86%). Quite encouragingly, the soil oomycete phytopathogen P. ramorum was inhibited strongly (mean ~ 177%) by both forest bacilli. Aqueous extracts of non-forest antifungal herbaceous plants (garlic and elderberry) expressed similar inhibitory effects (mean ~ 70%). A seaweed fungal elicitor component fucoidan showed moderate levels (mean ~ 85%) of antagonism against P. ramorum, P. kernoviae, P. lateralis and P. infestans. The results in this in vitro study highlight the intensity and vigor of antagonistic forest microflora and non-forest herbaceous antifungal agents such as garlic and other plant extracts as serious candidates for suppression of the oomycete Phytophthora pathogenic fungi in forest soils. This study calls for urgent scoping and impact assessment studies in pot experiments and mini-plot forest trials to gauge the fitness of these natural resources for field level potential biotechnological applications to combat the devastating dieback disease in the native woodlands and horticulture.



Cite this paper

C. Hearst, D. Nelson, G. McCollum, S. Sharma and J. Rao, "Forest Fairy Ring Fungi Clitocybe nebularis, Soil Bacillus spp., and Plant Extracts Exhibit in Vitro Antagonism on Dieback Phytophthora Species," Natural Resources, Vol. 4 No. 2, 2013, pp. 189-194. doi: 10.4236/nr.2013.42025.

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