Performance of Natural Antagonists and Commercial Microbiocides towards in Vitro Suppression of Flower Bed Soil-Borne Fusarium oxysporum


Fusarium oxysporum is the causal agent for wilt diseases of many major ornamental and horticultural crops. In this study, we plated a local cut flower grower’s soil, with a persistent history of Fusarium wilt of scented stock, Matthiola incana but not the lettuce rotational crop. This yielded culture plates with characteristic pink to carmine red fungi, together with a mixed bacterial population, a percentage of which was visibly antagonistic to the Fusarium. Using molecular analyses via Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) assays, we identified that Fusarium oxysporum, Fusarium culmorum, Fusarium equiseti and Fusarium venenatum were prevalent in the soil. The co-habiting bacterial colonies that exhibited strong antagonistic activity (zone of clearance) towards the soil fungi corresponded to Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus amyloliquefaciens and Paenibacillus polymyxa species. Our results arising from an in vitro study involving Kirby-Bauer disc-diffusion agar assays, coupled with bio-imaging software techniques demonstrated that the three native soil bacteria were effective inhibitors of all Fusarium species tested, while Bacillus subtilis exhibited the highest antagonism towards the Fusarium oxysporum. Bioassay tests of micro-biocides Prestop (Gliocadium catenulatum), Serenade Max (Bacillus subtilis QST713) and commercial seaweed extract, AlgiVyt suppressed in vitro growth of Fusarium oxysporum infecting the scented stock flower to a greater extent, whilst fresh aqueous extracts of garlic (Allium sativum) and meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria) flowers were ineffective towards soil pathogen suppression. This scoping study offers cut flower growers additional options of tapping into populations of antagonistic bacteria found in soil persistently infected with the opportunistic soil phytopathogen Fusarium oxysporum, affecting cut flower crops, such as M. incana.

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D. Nelson, K. Beattie, G. McCollum, T. Martin, S. Sharma and J. Rao, "Performance of Natural Antagonists and Commercial Microbiocides towards in Vitro Suppression of Flower Bed Soil-Borne Fusarium oxysporum," Advances in Microbiology, Vol. 4 No. 3, 2014, pp. 151-159. doi: 10.4236/aim.2014.43020.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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