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In vitro Selection of Maize Rhizobacteria to Study Potential Biological Control of Aspergillus Section Flavi and Aflatoxin Production

Nesci, A.V., Bluma, R.V., Etcheverry, M.G.
European journal of plant pathology 2005 v.113 no.2 pp. 159-171
stored products, Sporolactobacillus inulinus, Ralstonia solanacearum, Aspergillus flavus, fungal antagonists, Aspergillus parasiticus, microbial competition, fungal diseases of plants, aspergillosis, Zea mays, corn, aflatoxins, microbial colonization, in vitro studies, food safety, biological control, Amphibacillus xylanus, grain crops, toxigenic strains, Rhizobiales, environmental factors, Bacillus subtilis
The aims of this study were to select bacterial isolates from the non-rhizophere of maize soil and to examine their antagonistic activity against Aspergillus section Flavi strains. The first selection was made through ecophysiological responses of bacterial isolates to water activity (aw) and temperature stress. Subsequently, an Index of Dominance test (ID), ecological similarity and inhibition of the lag phase prior to growth, growth rate and aflatoxin B1 accumulation were used as criteria. From the first assay nine bacterial strains were selected. They grew well at 25 and 30 °C, with growth optima between 0.982 and 0.955 aw using 48 h of incubation. There was ecological similarity between the bacterial strains Bacillus subtilis (RCB 3, RCB 6), Pseudomonas solanacearum RCB 5, Amphibacillus xylanus RCB 27 and aflatoxigenic Aspergillus section Flavi strains at 0.982 at 25 °C. The predominant interaction between all selected bacteria and fungi in dual culture was mutual intermingling at 0.982. Mutual inhibition on contact and mutual inhibition at a distance was observed at 0.955 aw, between only four bacteria and some Aspergillus strains. Bacillus subtilis RCB 55 showed antifungal activity against Aspergillus section Flavi strains. Amphibacillus xylanus RCB 27, B. subtilis RCB 90 and Sporolactobacillus inulinus RCB 196 increased the lag phase prior to growth and decreased the growth rate of Aspergillus section Flavi strains. Bacillus subtilis strains (RCB 6, RCB 55, RCB 90) and P. solanacearum RCB 110 inhibited aflatoxin accumulation. Bacillus subtilis RCB 90 completely inhibited aflatoxin B1 accumulation at 0.982 aW. These results show that the bacterial strains selected have potential for controlling Aspergillus section Flavi over a wide range of relevant environmental conditions in the stored maize ecosystem.