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Induced Systemic Resistance and Stem Rot Management in Peanut Using Microbial Consortia

Hari Kishan Sudini: ICRISAT

<div>Peanut, a pre-eminent grain legume, is affected by several biotic stresses of which stem rot disease (<em>Sclerotium rolfsii</em>) is an economically significant one. Sustainable management of stem rot is a viable option keeping in view of human and environmental health issues due to indiscriminate use of fungicides. In our present study, a mixture of fungal (<em>Trichoderma</em> sp. T1) and bacterial (<em>Bacillus</em> sp. B1) antagonists were used to devise sustainable approach against stem rot. Talc based formulations of T1 and B1 strains were screened individually as well as conjunctively under greenhouse and field conditions in two different locations in 2016 on a stem rot susceptible cultivar (TMV 2). Altogether, there were nine treatments including a standard chemical check (azoxystrobin). Results indicate combined applications of T1 and B1 strains (with or without chitin amendment) significantly reduced stem rot (20% plant mortality) compared to control (100% mortality). Evidence of induced systemic resistance (ISR) was also studied for seedlings inoculated with bioagents through primed expression of defense enzymes such as phenylalanine ammonia-lyase, peroxidase, polyphenol oxidase, catalase, and total phenols. The challenged seedlings were also screened for presence of pathogenesis related (PR) proteins such as β-1,3-glucanase and chitinase for evidence of systemic acquired resistance (SAR). Overall our results revealed the effectiveness of these bioagents in sustainably managing stem rot disease besides inducing systemic resistance under the conditions evaluated.</div>