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Microbiol Res. 2018 Apr;209:1-13. doi: 10.1016/j.micres.2018.01.006. Epub 2018 Feb 15.

Biocontrol activity of surfactin A purified from Bacillus NH-100 and NH-217 against rice bakanae disease.

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Department of Biosciences, Faculty of Sciences, COMSATS Institute of Information Technology (CIIT), Park Road, Islamabad, Pakistan.
Health Biotechnology Division, National Institute for Biotechnology & Genetic Engineering, NIBGE, Faisalabad, Pakistan.
Center for Health & Bioresources, Bioresources Unit, AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH, AIT, Konrad Lorenz Strasse 24, Tulln A-3430, Austria.
Department of Biosciences, Faculty of Sciences, COMSATS Institute of Information Technology (CIIT), Park Road, Islamabad, Pakistan. Electronic address:


The potential of the Bacillus genus to antagonize phytopathogens is associated with the production of cyclic lipopeptides. Depending upon the type of lipopeptide, they may serve as biocontrol agents that are eco-friendly alternatives to chemical fertilizers. This study evaluates the biocontrol activity of surfactin-producing Bacillus (SPB) strains NH-100 and NH-217 and purified surfactin A from these strains against rice bakanae disease. Biologically active surfactin fractions were purified by HPLC, and surfactin A variants with chain lengths from C12 to C16 were confirmed by LCMS-ESI. In hemolytic assays, a positive correlation between surfactin A production and halo zone formation was observed. The purified surfactin A had strong antifungal activity against Fusarium oxysporum, F. moniliforme, F. solani, Trichoderma atroviride and T. reesei. Maximum fungal growth suppression (84%) was recorded at 2000 ppm against F. moniliforme. Surfactin A retained antifungal activity at different pH levels (5-9) and temperatures (20, 50 and 121 °C). Hydroponic and pot experiments were conducted to determine the biocontrol activity of SPB strains and the purified surfactin A from these strains on Super Basmati rice. Surfactin production in the rice rhizosphere was detected by LCMS-ESI at early growth stages in hydroponics experiments inoculated with SPB strains. However, the maximum yield was observed with a consortium of SPB strains (T4) and purified surfactin A (T5) treatments in the pot experiment. The outcomes of the present study revealed that surfactin A significantly reduced rice bakanae disease by up to 80%. These findings suggest that purified surfactin A could be an effective biocontrol agent against bakanae disease in rice and should be incorporated into strategies for disease management.


Bakanae disease; Biocontrol; LCMS; Phytopathogenic fungi; Rice; Surfactin A; Surfactin-producing Bacillus strains

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