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Formulation and Delivery of the Bacterial Antagonist Bacillus subtilis for Management of Lentil Vascular Wilt Caused by Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. lentis


School of Agriculture, Policy and Development, The University of Reading, Reading, UK


Different formulations of Bacillus subtilis were prepared using standard laboratory protocols. Bacillus subtilis survived in glucose and talc powders at 8.6 and 7.8 log10 CFU/g, respectively, for 1 year of storage at room temperature compared with 3.5 log10 CFU/g on a peat formulation. Glasshouse experiments using soil and seed treatments were conducted to test the efficacy of B. subtilis for protecting lentil against the wilt disease caused by Fusariumoxysporum f. sp. lentis. Seed treatments with formulations of B. subtilis on glucose, talc and peat significantly enhanced its biocontrol activity against Fusarium compared with a treatment in which spores were applied directly to seed. The formulations decreased disease severity by reducing colonization of plants by the pathogen, promoting their growth and increased the dry weight of lentil plants. Of these treatments the glucose and talc-based powder formulations were more effective than the peat formulation and the spore application without a carrier. It was shown that the B. subtilis spores applied with glucose were viable for longer than those applied with other carriers. Seed treatment with these formulated spores is an effective delivery system that can provide a conducive environment for B. subtilis to suppress vascular wilt disease on lentil and has the potential for utilization in commercial field application.