Biocontrol of Mushroom Fungal Pathogens and Contaminants Using Bacillus amyloliquefaciens

Ruth Wambui Mwangi


Most plant fungal diseases are controlled by use of synthetic chemicals which are becoming expensive and posing health and environmental hazards. Some of the pathogenic fungi have developed resistance to these chemicals. Alternative methods of control are therefore being investigated. One of these includes use of biological agents such as Bacillus spp. In this work, B. amyloliquefaciens was investigated as a biocontrol agent against oyster mushroom fungal pathogens and contaminants including Aspergillus, Penicillium, Mucor and Rhizopus species. Primary in-vitro screening for antagonism using dual culture technique showed that B. amyloliquefaciens had significant (P ≤ 0.05) inhibitory effect on mycelial radial growth of these pathogens and contaminants. Dual culture plates of B. amyloliquefaciens with Mucor and Rhizopus spp were overgrown and also showed a small close-up inhibition zone, while those of Mucor sp. stopped growing and eventually died by day 14. Penicillium sp. in the opposite direction from B. amyloliquefaciens but was eventually overgrown and suppressed by the antagonist and stopped growing on the fifth day. Volatile organic compounds produced by this Bacillus were also effective against the pathogens tested. Microscopic observation of the cultures at the interaction zone of dual culture plates showed that there was antibiosis. The B. amyloliquefaciens isolate proved effective in controlling the pathogens in-vitro indicating that it can be used in control of different mushroom pathogens. This report on the use of B. amyloliquefaciens against mushroom pathogens shows the great potential of the antagonist as a substitute to chemical fungicides.

Key Words

Bacillus, fungal pathogens, contaminants, antagonist.

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