Main content area

Ability of Moderately Halophilic Bacteria to Control Grey Mould Disease on Tomato Fruits

Sadfi-Z.ouaoui, N., Essghaier, B., Hajlaoui, M.R., Fardeau, M.L., Cayaol, J.L., Ollivier, B., Boudabous, A.
Phytopathologische Zeitschrift 2008 v.156 no.1 pp. 42-52
Bacillus subtilis, Botrytis cinerea, Halobacillus halophilus, Halobacillus litoralis, Halobacillus trueperi, Halomonas subglaciescola, Halomonas variabilis, Marinococcus halophilus, amylases, antagonists, antifungal properties, bacteria, carboxylic ester hydrolases, cellulases, chitinase, crops, fresh market, fruit quality, fruits, gray mold, pathogens, plant rots, proteinases, ribosomal DNA, ripening, salt tolerance, soil, tomatoes, Tunisia
Tomato is one of the leading crops in Tunisia in terms of weight consumed (20 kg/per person/year). Preserving the quality of the fruit from field to consumer is essential to successful marketing. Grey mould rot induced by Botrytis cinerea is an important cause of postharvest loss depending on season and handling practices. We describe here the ability of halotolerant to moderately halophilic bacteria isolated from different Tunisian Sebkhas (hypersaline soils) to protect fresh-market tomato fruits from B. cinerea. The tomatoes tested were at two different stages of ripening, (i) mature-green and (ii) red. Six strains significantly reduced growth of the pathogens from 67% to 87%. The effectiveness of these antagonists was also confirmed on green tomatoes; in which the fruit rot protection rate ranged from 74% to 100%. The antagonists were characterized by morphological, biochemical and physiological tests as well as 16S rDNA sequencing. The halotolerant effective isolates were identified as belonging to one of the species Bacillus subtilis (M1-20, J9) or B. licheniformis (J24). One effective moderately halophilic isolate (M2-26) was identified as Planococcus rifietoensis. These strains are a source of hydrolytic enzymes such as chitinases, proteases, laminarinases, amylases, lipases and cellulases. For comparison, 12 halotolerant or moderately halophilic strains obtained from DSM culture collection were also evaluated for their antifungal activity against B. cinerea on tomato fruits. The most effective strains were Halomonas subglaciescola, Halobacillus litoralis, Marinococcus halophilus, Salinococcus roseus, Halovibrio variabilis and Halobacillus halophilus with a percentage of grey mould rot reduction ranging from 71% to 97%. Inoculation of mature-green tomatoes by the bacterial antagonist of Halobacillus trueperi resulted in no disease development. Our results indicate that the use of halotolerant to halophilic micro-organisms should be helpful in reducing grey mould disease of stored tomatoes.