A Rapid Bioassay to Evaluate Efficacy of Hypovirulent Binucleate Rhizoctonia in Reducing Fusarium Crown and Root Rot of Tomato

The Open Agriculture Journal 28 Mar 2019 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/1874331501913010027



Fusarium Oxysporum f.sp. Radicis-Lycopersici (FORL) caused Fusarium Crown and Root Rot of tomato (FCRR), it’s a serious constraint on tomato production and contributing to yield losses.


Using a rapid bioassay, Hypovirulent Binucleate Rhizoctonia (HBNR) was tested for their ability to reduce Fusarium Crown and Root Rot (FCRR) of tomato, caused by Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. radicis lycopersici (FORL). Roots of tomato seedlings growing on 2% water agar in plastic boxes were inoculated with living or dead mycelial disks of HBNR. After 24 h, the pathogen was applied at 0, 3, 6, and 9 cm away from the position of the HBNR.


When living HBNR was used, the treatments provided significant protection to tomato seedlings from FCRR infection at all distances tested. Tomato plants pre-inoculated with living HBNR at different times (12 h and 24 h before inoculation with the pathogen) and challenged with FORL showed significant reduction of FCRR lesion development. A significant reduction was still observed even when HBNR was inoculated simultaneously with or 12 h after inoculation of a pathogen. Seedlings treated with dead HBNR and culture filtrates also showed significantly reduced FCRR lesion development. When living HBNR were enveloped by a polycarbonate membrane filter, a significant reduction of FCRR lesion development was still observed.


In all experiments, reduction of FCRR lesion development in seedlings treated with HBNR tended to decrease with longer distance from the inoculation point of FORL and HBNR. We developed a simple, rapid, and miniaturized bioassay for evaluating the efficacy of HBNR against FORL. The bioassays require only 12 - 18 days, which is at least 12 days less than the soil system employed by previous researchers.

Keywords: Non-pathogenic Rhizoctonia, Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. radicis-lycopersici, Rapid biocontrol assay, FCRR, HBNR, Bioassays.
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