Rhizospheric bacteria of maize with potential for biocontrol of Fusarium verticillioides


The stalk, ear and root rot (SERR) of maize caused by Fusarium verticillioides (Fv) severely impacts crop production in tropical and subtropical regions. The aim of the present work was to screen bacterial isolates in order to find novel native biocontrol agents against Fv. A culturable bacterial collection consisting of 11,520 isolates enriched in Firmicutes and Proteobacteria was created from rhizosphere samples taken from SERR symptomatic or asymptomatic maize plants. The complete collection was screened for potential activity against Fv using a liquid antagonism assay followed by dual cultures in solid medium, selecting for 42 bacteria (Bacillus, Pseudomonas and Paenibacillus) that inhibit Fv growth (>45 %). In planta assays demonstrated that three Bacillus isolates: B. megaterium (B5), B. cereus sensu lato (B25) and Bacillus sp. (B35) displayed the highest antagonistic activity against Fv. Pot experiments performed in a greenhouse with Bacillus cereus sensu lato B25 confirmed these findings and showed a reduction of Fv disease severity and incidence on plants. Antagonistic activity analysis revealed that these strains produce glucanases, proteases or chitinases, as well as siderophores and auxins and suggests these as possible control mechanisms against Fv.

Figueroa‑López, A.M., J.D. Cordero‑Ramírez, J.C. Martínez‑Álvarez, M. López‑Meyer, G.J. Lizárraga‑Sánchez, R. Félix‑Gastélum, C. Castro‑Martínez, I.E. Maldonado‑Mendoza




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