Endophytic fungi have been isolated from the healthy turmeric (Curcuma longa L.) rhizomes from South India. Thirty-one endophytes were identified based on morphological and ITS–rDNA sequence analysis. The isolated endophytes were screened for antagonistic activity against Pythium aphanidermatum (Edson) Fitzp., and Rhizoctonia solani Kuhn., causing rhizome rot and leaf blight diseases in turmeric respectively. Results revealed that only six endophytes showed > 70% suppression of test pathogens in antagonistic dual culture assays. The endophyte T. harzianum TharDOB-31 showed significant in vitro mycelial growth inhibition of P. aphanidermatum (76.0%) and R. solani (76.9%) when tested by dual culture method. The SEM studies of interaction zone showed morphological abnormalities like parasitism, shriveling, breakage and lysis of hyphae of the pathogens by endophyte TharDOB-31. Selected endophytic isolates recorded multiple plant growth promoting traits in in vitro studies. The rhizome bacterization followed by soil application of endophyte TharDOB-31 showed lowest Percent Disease Incidence of rhizome rot and leaf blight, 13.8 and 11.6% respectively. The treatment of TharDOB-31 exhibited significant increase in plant height (85 cm) and fresh rhizome yield/plant (425 g) in comparison with untreated control under greenhouse condition. The confocal microscopy validates the colonization of the TharDOB-31 in turmeric rhizomes. The secondary metabolites in ethyl acetate extract of TharDOB-31 were found to contain higher number of antifungal compounds by high resolution liquid chromatograph mass spectrometer analysis. Thereby, endophyte T. harzianum isolate can be exploited as a potential biocontrol agent for suppressing rhizome rot and leaf blight diseases in turmeric.
World Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 14, 2018
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