Previous View
 
APSnet Home
 
Phytopathology Home


VIEW ARTICLE

Ecology and Epidemiology

Effect of Soilborne Pseudomonas spp. on the Biological Control Agent, Trichoderma hamatum, on Pea Seeds. J. P. Hubbard, Research associate, Department of Seed and Vegetable Sciences, Cornell University, New York State Agricultural Experiment Station, Geneva 14456, Present address of senior author: Agrigenetics, Inc., 1120 220th St. West, Farmington, MN 55024; G. E. Harman(2), and Y. Hadar(3). (2)Associate professor, Department of Seed and Vegetable Sciences, Cornell University, New York State Agricultural Experiment Station, Geneva 14456; (3)Research associate, Department of Seed and Vegetable Sciences, Cornell University, New York State Agricultural Experiment Station, Geneva 14456. Phytopathology 73:655-659. Accepted for publication 17 November 1982. Copyright 1983 The American Phytopathological Society. DOI: 10.1094/Phyto-73-655.

In some soils, Trichoderma hamatum, applied as conidia to peas, colonizes seed coats and protects them from seed rots caused by Pythium spp. However, it fails to protect seeds in New York soils with low iron (<4 μg/g of soil) availability. This failure is caused by antagonism by fluorescent soilborne pseudomonads that colonize seed coats rapidly. Short, rod-shaped bacteria were observed in association with lysed germlings of T. hamatum on treated seeds after planting in soil. Addition of pseudomonads to seeds treated with T. hamatum caused T. hamatum to be ineffective as a biocontrol agent when these seeds were planted in steamed soil containing iron at 1 μg/g of soil and amended with P. ultimum. Conversely, planting seeds treated with both T. hamatum and pseudomonads in quartz sand with approximately 7 μg of extractable iron per gram of soil resulted in no decrease in efficacy of T. hamatum. Increasing iron levels in field soil to 8 μg of iron per gram of soil by the addition of ferrous oxalate resulted in effective control of seed rots by T. hamatum. Ferric EDTA was ineffective because it was toxic to T. hamatum. Various inorganic iron salts were ineffective when added as seed treatments; extraction of these seeds 5 days after planting gave low Fe levels (<4 μg/g). Growth of T. hamatum together with pseudomonads on a medium with little available iron (Kings B) resulted in fluorescent zones around pseudomonad colonies that were inhibitory to T. hamatum. Growth of the fungus was inhibited by addition of partially purified fluorescent pigment to cultures in Kings B broth; this inhibition could be overcome by addition of 100 μM Fe++ or Fe+++. Seed-colonizing pseudomonads grow well even if seeds are treated with antibacterial antibiotics. Seeds treated with the T. hamatum and germinated in the absence of pseudomonads for 12- 18 hr and then transplanted to field soils were protected against seed rot.

Additional keywords: antagonism.