Twenty-one streptomycete and 15 non-streptomycete actinomycetes were isolated from surface-disinfested lupin roots and evaluated for their potential to produce chitinase and to inhibit the growth of Plectosporium tabacinum, the causal agent of lupin root rot in Egypt. The most inhibitory isolate was identified as Actinoplanes missouriensis which produced relatively high levels of chitinase and degraded the hyphae of P. tabacinum in vitro, causing extensive plasmolysis and cell-wall lysis. A crude culture filtrate of A. missouriensis exhibited antifungal activity and significantly (P < 0.05) reduced spore germination and germ-tube growth of the pathogen. The antagonist was recovered from inside the root at all samplings up to 8 weeks after inoculation, indicating that the roots of healthy lupin may be a habitat for the endophyte. A. missouriensis significantly (P < 0.05) reduced the severity of root rot under glasshouse conditions. An endophytic isolate of Actinoplanes italicus incapable of producing chitinase and a mutant strain of A. missouriensis that did not produce detectable levels of chitinase, did not lyse hyphae of P. tabacinum or reduce root rot in the glasshouse experiments, although colonisation of the lupin root by both these isolates was similar to that of the chitinase-producing wild-type isolate of A. missouriensis. This study is the first record of control of a soil-borne plant pathogen by a chitinolytic actinomycete, endophytic in plant roots.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Plant Science