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Survival of the biocontrol agents Coniothyrium minitans and Bacillus subtilis MBI 600 into pasteurised, sterilised and non-sterile soils

Bennett, Amanda J.; Leifert, Carlo and Whipps, John M. (2003) Survival of the biocontrol agents Coniothyrium minitans and Bacillus subtilis MBI 600 into pasteurised, sterilised and non-sterile soils. Soil Biology & Biochemistry, 35, pp. 1565-1573.

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The biocontrol agents Coniothyrium minitans and Bacillus subtilis MBI 600 were added separately to three soil types that had been either sterilised, pasteurised or left non-sterile. Applied as a conidial suspension of 1 X 10(6) cfu g(-1) soil, C. minitans showed good survival in all sterilised, pasteurised and non-sterile soils, remaining at the numerical level at which it was applied for the duration of the 30 d experiment. Applied at a lower rate of 1 X 10(3) cfu g(-1) Soil, C Minitans proliferated in sterilised soil to numbers slightly over 1 X 10(6) cfu g(-1) Soil, whereas no increase was seen in pasteurised or non-sterile soils from this lower application rate. However, although C. minitans was not easily recovered on plates from non-sterile soil, it did survive at the lower numerical level in pasteurised soil, and was recoverable throughout the experiment at the rate at which it was applied. B. subtilis MBI 600 survived well following introduction as a cell suspension into sterilised soil at a rate of 1 X 10(6) cfu g(-1) soil. Spores were formed rapidly and, after 14 d, the introduced microorganism survived in this form rather than as vegetative cells. However, in non-sterile soil, the introduced microorganism did not compete well and decreased in number, with spores being formed in low numbers. Survival of B. subtilis MBI 600 in pasteurised soil was variable, but resembled the survival seen in non-sterile soil more than that seen in sterilised soil. More B. subtilis MBI 600 spores were formed in pasteurised soil than in non-sterile soil, however, and may have been important for survival in pasteurised soil. In conclusion, this work has shown that the biocontrol agent C. minitans can survive well in soil irrespective of whether the soil has been pasteurised or not and shows good promise as a soil inoculant for control of Sclerotinia sclerotiorum. Although soil pasteurisation does improve establishment of B. subtilis MBI 600 compared to non-sterile soil, survival is relatively poor when applied as cells. The best survival of B. subtilis MBI 600 occurred as spores in sterilised soil, and spore applications to pasteurised soil in an integrated control strategy may allow sufficient establishment of the biocontrol agent to target pathogens causing damping-off.

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Subjects: Soil > Soil quality > Soil biology
Research affiliation: UK > Univ. Newcastle
Deposited By: Leifert, Prof. Carlo
ID Code:10754
Deposited On:15 May 2007
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:35
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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