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Application of Talc Formulations of Pseudomonas fluorescens Migula and Trichoderma viride Pers. ex S.F. Gray Decrease the Sheath Blight Disease and Enhance the Plant Growth and Yield in Rice

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Centre for Advanced Studies in Botany, University of Madras, Guindy Campus, Chennai, India

Abstract

The effect of talc formulations of Pseudomonas fluorescens Migula and Trichoderma viride Pers. ex S.F. Gray applications either alone or in combination on crop growth, sheath blight disease and grain yield in rice was investigated in three different field experiments. Increased root and shoot lengths, dry weight and plant height were recorded following treatment of plants with P. fluorescens and T. viride either alone or in combination when compared with control. Application of P. fluorescens and T. viride resulted in a significant reduction of sheath blight incidence caused by Rhizoctonia solani Kühn and was comparable to the treatment with a systemic fungicide, Carbendazim. The number of productive tillers, grains per panicle and grain test weight were also significantly increased in the treated plots with commensurate increase in grain and straw yields when compared with control. The promotion of plant growth and yield and suppression of sheath blight disease were marginally improved following combined application of P. fluorescens and T. viride. Although the combined application of both biocontrol agents did not lead to statistically significant additive effects in reducing the sheath blight and increasing grain yield when compared with their individual applications, no negative effect was recorded in this combined application treatment. Hence, the talc formulations of biocontrol agents either alone or in combination can be recommended as one of the crop protection strategies for the management of sheath blight of rice.

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