Cuong ND, Nicolaisen MH, Sørensen J, Olsson S
Microb. Ecol. 62 (2) 425-434 [2011-08-00; online 2011-03-03]
Sheath blight infection of rice by Rhizoctonia solani Kühn AG1-IA often results in serious yield losses in intensive rice cultivation. Biological control agents (BCAs) have previously been isolated but poor efficiency is often observed when applied under field conditions. This study compares a traditional dual-culture plate assay and a new water-surface microcosm assay for isolation of antagonistic soil bacteria. In the water-surface microcosm assay, floating pathogen mycelium is used as a source for isolation of hyphae-colonizing soil bacteria (HCSB), which are subsequently screened for antagonism. Ten antagonistic soil bacteria (ASB) isolated from a variety of Vietnamese rice soils using dual-culture plates were found to be affiliated with Bacillus based on 16S rRNA gene sequencing. However, all the ASB isolates grew poorly and showed no antagonism in the water-surface microcosm assay. In contrast, 11 (out of 13) HCSB isolates affiliated with Burkholderia sp. all grew well by colonizing the hyphae in the microcosms. Two of the Burkholderia sp. isolates, assigned to B. vietnamiensis based on recA gene sequencing, strongly inhibited fungal growth in both the dual-culture and water-surface microcosm assays; HCSB isolates affiliated to other species or species groups showed limited or no inhibition of R. solani in the microcosms. Our results suggest that HCSB obtained from floating pathogen hyphae can be a new source for isolation of efficient BCAs against R. solani, as the isolation assay mimics the natural habitat for fungal-bacterial interaction in the fields.