First and third authors: Department of Plant Sciences, University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad 500 046, India; and second author: Legumes Pathology, International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics, Patancheru 502 324, India
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Accepted for publication 23 May 2005.
Late leaf spot (LLS), caused by Phaeoisariopsis personata, is a foliar disease of groundnut or peanut (Arachis hypogaea) with high economic and global importance. Antifungal and chitinolytic Bacillus circulans GRS 243 and Serratia marcescens GPS 5, selected among a collection of 393 peanut-associated bacteria, were applied as a prophylactic foliar spray and tested for control of LLS. Chitin-supplemented application of B. circulans GRS 243 and S. marcescens GPS 5 resulted in improved biological control of LLS disease. Supplementation of bacterial cells with 1% (wt/vol) colloidal chitin reduced lesion frequency by 60% compared with application of bacterial cells alone, in the greenhouse. Chitinsupplemented application of GRS 243 and GPS 5 also resulted in improved and stable control of LLS in a repeated field experiment and increased the pod yields by 62 and 75%, respectively, compared with the control. Chitin-supplemented application of GPS 5 was tested in six onfarm trials, and the increase in pod yields was up to 48% in kharif (rainy season). A 55-kDa chitinase was purified from the cell-free culture filtrate of GPS 5 by affinity chromatography and gel filtration. Purified chitinase of S. marcescens GPS 5 (specific activity 120 units) inhibited the in vitro germination of P. personata conidia, lysed the conidia, and effectively controlled LLS in greenhouse tests, indicating the importance of chitinolysis in biological control of LLS disease by GPS 5.
© 2005 The American Phytopathological Society