Link to home

Population Dynamics of Bacillus sp. L324-92R12 and Pseudomonas fluorescens 2-79RN10 in the Rhizosphere of Wheat

May 1997 , Volume 87 , Number  5
Pages  559 - 564

Dal-Soo Kim , David M. Weller , and R. James Cook

First author: Department of Plant Pathology, Washington State University, Pullman 99164-6430; and second and third authors: Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Pullman, WA 99164-6430

Go to article:
Accepted for publication 7 February 1997.

Bacillus sp. L324-92 is suppressive to three root diseases of wheat, namely take-all caused by Gaeumannomyces graminis var. tritici, Rhizoctonia root rot caused by Rhizoctonia solani AG8, and Pythium root rot caused by several Pythium species. Populations of strain L324-92R12, a rifampicin-resistant mutant of L324-92 applied as a seed treatment, were monitored in the rhizosphere and spermosphere of wheat and compared with populations of Pseudomonas fluorescens 2-79RN10, a known, rhizosphere-competent, biocontrol agent. In growth chamber studies, the population sizes of L324-92R12 on roots of wheat were approximately 1,000-fold smaller than those of 2-79RN10 at 5 days after planting, but, thereafter, they increased while those of 2-79RN10 decreased until the two were equal in size at 45 days after planting. In the field with winter wheat, the population sizes of L324-92R12 on roots were at least 10-fold smaller than those of 2-79RN10 during the fall (November 1993) and early spring (March 1994). Thereafter, the population of L324-92R12 remained constant or increased slightly, while the population of 2-79RN10 decreased until the two were roughly the same at 104 to 105 CFU/plant over the period of 150 days (April 1994) until 285 days (harvest) after planting. In growth chamber studies, strain L324-92R12 remained confined to root sections within 3.5 cm below the seed, whereas 2-79RN10 was recovered from all root sections ranging from 0.5 to 6.5 cm below the seed. In the field on winter wheat, both strains were recovered from root sections down to 5.0 to 6.5 cm below the seed at 75 days after planting (mid December), but only 2-79RN10 was recovered at this depth at 90 days after planting. Both strains were recovered from the seed remnants 6 months after planting in the field. Both strains also were recovered from inside the roots and shoots, but population sizes of strain 279RN10 were greater than those of L324 92R12.

Additional keywords: biological control, microbial ecology, plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria, Triticum aestivum.

The American Phytopathological Society, 1997