The ability of Brevibacillus brevis to influence development of disease on tomato caused by Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. lycopersici was investigated using plants raised in Petri dish microcosms and in pots in the glasshouse. Development of symptoms on both microcosm-and glasshouse-raised tomato plants was markedly reduced in co-inoculations of F. oxysporum f.sp. lycopersici with B. brevis, compared with inoculations with the pathogen alone. Moreover, co-inoculations resulted in significant growth boosting effects on the plants, with increases in plant height in microcosms and in total root lengths in glasshouse-raised plants. In microcosm-raised plants, the carrier used to inoculate seed with B. brevis, either carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) or vermiculite, had no effect on the persistence of the biological control agent on roots in the absence of inoculation with the pathogen. By contrast, numbers of B. brevis recovered from the rhizosphere and rhizoplane of inoculated plants in microcosms were four orders of magnitude lower than in plants treated with B. brevis alone. Moreover, higher numbers of B. brevis CFU were re-isolated from the rhizosphere of plants arising from CMC-coated seed, than vermiculite-coated seed. The carrier had no effect on disease control. Inhibition of conidial germination and germtube extension of F. oxysporum f.sp. lycopersici by cellfree filtrates of B. brevis cultures varied significantly depending on the culture medium used for suspension. These results indicate that B. brevis is a potential biological control agent for reducing the impact of F. oxysporum f.sp. lycopersici on tomato. 2009 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.
- Biological control
- Brevibacillus brevis
- Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. lycopersici