Phytopathology. 2021 Jul 22. doi: 10.1094/PHYTO-03-21-0128-R. Online ahead of print.
Gray mold caused by Botrytis cinerea is one of the most widespread and damaging diseases in cannabis crops worldwide. With challenging restrictions on pesticide use and few effective control measures, biocontrol agents are needed to manage this disease. The aim of this study was to identify and characterize bacterial biocontrol agents with wide-spectrum activity against B. cinerea and other major cannabis fungal pathogens. Twelve Bacillus and Pseudomonas strains were first screened with in vitro confrontational assays against ten culturable cannabis pathogens, namely B. cinerea, Sclerotinia sclerotiorum, Fusarium culmorum, F. sporotrichoides, F. oxysporum, Nigrospora sphaerica, N. oryzae, Alternaria alternata, Phoma sp. and Cercospora sp. Six strains displaying the highest inhibitory activity, namely B. velezensis LBUM279, FZB42, LBUM1082, B. subtilis LBUM979, P. synxantha LBUM223, and P. protegens Pf-5, were further assessed in planta where all, except LBUM223, significantly controlled gray mold development on cannabis leaves. Notably, LBUM279 and FZB42 reduced disease severity by at least half compared to water-treated plants and prevented lesion development and/or sporulation up to 9 days following pathogen inoculation. Genomes of LBUM279, LBUM1082 and LBUM979 were sequenced de novo and taxonomic affiliations were determined to ensure non-relatedness with pathogenic strains. Moreover, the genomes were exempt of detrimental genes encoding major toxins and virulence factors that could otherwise pose a biosafety risk when used on crops. Eighteen gene clusters of potential biocontrol interest were also identified. To our knowledge, this is the first reported attempt to control cannabis fungal diseases in planta by direct antagonism with beneficial bacteria.
Source: ncbi 2