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Keywords:

  • aerial;
  • Fusarium graminearum ;
  • Fusarium head blight;
  • metabolite;
  • microbial ecology

Abstract

Aims

In this study, we investigated the feasibility of applying nutrient germinants to plant surfaces to stimulate the spore germination of the plant disease biocontrol agent Bacillus amyloliquefaciens strain TrigoCor.

Methods and Results

Using the terbium chloride assay and phase-contrast microscopy, we screened potential germinants of TrigoCor spores and found that a combination of d-glucose, d-fructose and potassium chloride (GFK), in addition to either l-asparagine (Asn-GFK) or l-alanine (Ala-GFK), induced maximal levels of TrigoCor spore germination in vitro. The germinant mixture Asn-GFK was also able to significantly stimulate Bacillus spore germination on wheat surfaces.

Conclusions

The successful in vivo stimulation of Bacillus spore germination suggests that nutrient-induced spore germination on plant surfaces is a feasible strategy for improving Bacillus biocontrol.

Significance and Impact of the Study

One of the challenges of applying Bacillus biological control agents to aboveground plant parts is that Bacillus cells transition to a metabolically dormant spore state on plant surfaces, making them unable to prevent subsequent pathogen attacks. This study demonstrates that using nutrients to stimulate Bacillus spore germination in vivo is a promising option for improving disease control and should be pursued further.