The aim of this study was to assess the ability of Bacillus amyloliquefaciens, to augment plant growth and suppress gray mold and leaf spot in pepper plants. Morphological modifications in fungal pathogen hyphae that expanded toward the PGPR colonies were detected via scanning electron microscope. Furthermore, preliminary screening showed that PGPR could produce various hydrolytic enzymes in its media. Treatments with B. amyloliquefaciens suppressed Botrytis gray mold and Alternaria leaf spot diseases on pepper caused by Botrytis pelargonii and Alternaria alternata, respectively. The PGPR strain modulated plant physio-biochemical processes. The inoculation of pepper with PGPR decreased protein, amino acid, antioxidant, hydrogen peroxide, lipid peroxidation, and abscisic acid levels but increased salicylic acid and sugar levels compared to those of uninoculated plants, indicating a mitigation of the adverse effects of biotic stress. Moreover, gene expression studies confirmed physio-biochemical findings. PGPR inoculation led to increased expression of the CaXTH genes and decreased expression of CaAMP1, CaPR1, CaDEF1, CaWRKY2, CaBI-1, CaASRF1, CaSBP11, and CaBiP genes. Considering its beneficial effects, the inoculation of B. amyloliquefaciens can be proposed as an eco-friendly alternative to synthetic chemical fungicides.
- Disease suppression
- Hy-drolytic enzymes
- Plant growth promoting rhizobacteria
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Plant Science
- Microbiology (medical)