Rhizospheric Trichoderma isolates as potential biocontrol agent for southern leaf blight pathogen (Bipolaris maydis) in fodder maize
Trichoderma isolates against maydis leaf blight
Two indigenous strains of Trichoderma isolated from rhizospheric soils of maize plants were identified as T. harzianum and assessed for antagonistic activity against Bipolaris maydis causing southern corn leaf blight in fodder maize under controlled and field conditions in two consecutive seasons. Dual culture assay of Trichoderma strains showed significantly higher degree of mycelial inhibition (74.35%) against B. maydis. Similarly under field conditions, both the strains of Trichoderma when applied as seed treatment + foliar spray provided highest reduction in leaf blight severity (54.86 and 48.11%) along with 19.03 percent increase in green fodder yield in comparison to control. The efficacy of Trichoderma strains to boost defense responses against southern corn leaf blight disease in maize was also evaluated in bioagents treated leaves. Plants treated with biocontrol agents showed significantly higher activities of antioxidative defense enzymes like peroxidase (POX), superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT). In treated leaves, the activities of POX and SOD reached maximum at 24 h and activity of CAT reached the highest at 36 h after inoculation of pathogen B. maydis. Enzyme activities induced by Trichoderma strains were more obvious than that induced by pathogen only. This implies that biocontrol agent induced defense responses against southern corn leaf blight pathogen in fodder maize.
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