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Heterobasidion-growth inhibiting Bacillus subtilis A18 exhibits medium- and age-dependent production of lipopeptides

Azeem, Muhammad, Barba-Aliaga, Marina, Borg-Karlson, Anna Karin, Terenius, Olle, Broberg, Anders, Rajarao, Gunaratna Kuttuva
Microbiological research 2019 v.223-225 pp. 129-136
Bacillus subtilis, Heterobasidion annosum, agar, antifungal properties, bacterial culture, biological control agents, cell free system, conifers, culture filtrates, culture media, economic valuation, fungal diseases of plants, fungal growth, lipopeptides, matrix-assisted laser desorption-ionization mass spectrometry, metabolites, plant pathogenic fungi, root rot, stumps, trees
Heterobasidion annosum s.s. and H. parviporum are severe pathogens of conifers causing butt rot and root rot thus reducing the economic value of timber. Here, the antifungal activity of Bacillus subtilis isolate A18 against these two Heterobasidion species was investigated. Five different culture media with different culture age were investigated to study the effect of substrate composition and culture age for metabolite production. Bacterial cultures and cell-free culture filtrates were tested for antifungal activity. Inhibition of fungal growth was analysed using the agar disc-diffusion method. MALDI-TOF and LC-HRMS analyses were used to identify the antifungal metabolites. Substrate composition and age of culture were found to be active variables with direct effect on the antifungal activity of bacterial culture extracts. High anti-fungal activity was observed when B. subtilis was cultured in PDB, SGB and LB media for four days. Mass-spectrometry analysis showed the presence of lipopeptides in culture filtrates identified as members of the surfactins, polymixins, kurstakins and fengycins. A culture filtrate containing fengycin-type lipopeptides showed the highest bioactivity against Heterobasidion species. Bacterial cultures had higher bioactivity compared to their respective cell free culture filtrates. The results of the present study suggest that B. subtilis A18 is a powerful biocontrol agent against Heterobasidion infections of tree wounds and stumps.