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Microb Ecol. 2001 Oct;42(3):438-445.

Pseudomonas fluorescens DR54 Reduces Sclerotia Formation, Biomass Development, and Disease Incidence of Rhizoctonia solani Causing Damping-Off in Sugar Beet.

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Section of Genetics and Microbiology, Department of Ecology, Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, 1871 Frederiksberg C, Denmark.


Effects of the biocontrol strain, Pseudomonas fluorescens DR54, on growth and disease development by Rhizoctonia solani causing damping-off in sugar beet were studied in soil microcosms and in pot experiments with natural, clay-type soil. In pot experiments with P. fluorescens DR54-treated seeds, significantly fewer Rhizoctonia-challenged seedlings showed damping-off symptoms than when not inoculated with the biocontrol agent. In the rhizosphere of P. fluorescens DR54 inoculated seeds, the bacterial inoculant was present in high numbers as shown by dilution plating and immunoblotting. By the ELISA antibody technique and direct microscopy of the fungal pathogen grown in soil microcosms, it was shown that the presence of P. fluorescens DR54 on the inoculated seeds had a strong inhibitory effect on development of both mycelium biomass and sclerotia formation by R. solani. In the field experiment, plant emergence was increased by treatment with P. fluorescens DR54 and the inoculant was found to be the dominating rhizosphere colonizing pseudomonad immediately after seedling emergence.


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