ANTAGONISTIC ACTIVITY OF SERRATIA MARCESCENS AGAINST PYRICULARIA ORYZAE
AbstractRice is an important crop, widely affected by quite a number of diseases that results in higher yield losses. Among the fungal diseases, blast incited by Pyricularia oryzae is a major disease. The biological method of plant disease management seems to be an alternative to chemical fungicides in managing the blast disease. A new bio control agent viz., Serratia marcescens appears to be an ideal agent for the control of P. oryzae, because it produces chitinolytic enzymes which causes degradation of the fungal cell walls, induction of plant defence reaction and certain antifungal low molecular weight molecules. A study was undertaken to investigate the effect of a new bio control agent like S. marcescens against P. oryzae. The talc based formulation of S. marcescens (@ 1.0, 1.5, 2.0 and 2.5 kg/ha) was sprayed on old IR 50 rice plants in fields. Out of the six-bio protectants tested, S. marcescens was found very effective against P. oryzae under in vitro conditions. S. marcescens could be isolated from shoots as well as roots emerging from the treated seeds and the plant parts from treated seeds inhibited P. oryzae. The antagonist S. marcescens survived in the phyllosphere even 80 days after spray. The results revealed that rice blast control was achieved by spraying S. marcescens @ 1.0 kg/ha. The increasing dose of talc-based inoculum when applied on foliage increased the phyllosphere population of S. marcescens and controlled rice blast. The maximum disease control was achieved when inoculum was applied at 2.5 kg/ha.
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