Antagonistic Effect of Indigenous Bacillus subtilis on Root-/Soil-borne Fungal Pathogens of Cowpea
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The biopesticide ability of indigenous Bacillus subtilis as a biocontrol agent against cowpea fungal pathogens Fusarium verticilloides, F. equiseti, F. solani, F. oxysporum, and Rhizoctonia solani isolated from diseased cowpea in the northern Guinea savanna of Nigeria was evaluated in the laboratory. Primary in-vitro screening for antagonism against these phytopathogenic fungi revealed significant (P ≤ 0.05) inhibitory effects on mycelial radial growth of the pathogens. Generally, the antibiosis exhibited by B. subtilis against F. verticilloides, F. equiseti, and R. solani was highly significant. However, there were little or no inhibition effects on F. solani, and F. oxysporum. Differences in times of inoculation between the antagonist and the pathogens were not significantly (P ≤ 0.05) different in aiding effective and efficient inhibition of the pathogens by B. subtilis. The B. subtilis strain isolated, identified, and used in this present study is a promising natural biopesticide agent which can be considered as an alternative to chemical pesticides in cowpea disease management strategies and should be further studied and tested for control of other phytopathogenic fungi causing diseases and yield loss in susceptible cowpea germplasm.
This article is Published by Researcher, 2011 and is also available at (ISSN: 1553-9865)