In vitro antifungal activity of endophytic bacteria isolated from date palm (Phoenix doctylifera L.) against fungal pathogens causing leaf spot of date palm

H. H. Al-Nadabi*, N. S. Al-Buraiki, A. A. Al-Nabhani, S. N. Maharachchikumbura, R. Velazhahan, A. M. Al-Sadi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: Date palm ((Phoenix doctylifera L.) suffers from several fungal diseases. The endophytic microorganisms present in higher plants generally offer protection to their host plants against invading phytopathogenic fungi and bacteria. In the present study, endophytic bacteria associated with date palm leaves were isolated and their in vitro antagonistic potential against fungal pathogens causing leaf spots in date palm was demonstrated. Results: Endophytic bacteria were isolated from date palm leaves of 3 different cultivars viz., Nighal, Khalas and Khinaizi and evaluated for their inhibitory activity against leaf spot pathogens of date palm viz., Fusarium solani, Alternaria sp., Nigrospora sp., Thieloviopsis sp., Curvularia subpapendrofii and Tilletiopsis minor using an in vitro dual culture assay. Of the 24 endophytic bacterial strains tested, the endophytes designated B1, B7, B8 and B9 obtained from cv. Nighal showed inhibitory activities (more than 55% mycelial growth inhibition) against F. solani and Alternaria sp. None of the bacterial endophytes inhibited the growth of other fungal pathogens tested. These antagonistic bacterial strains were identified as Pantoea septica on the basis of 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis. The hyphae of F. solani and Alternaria sp. exhibited morphological abnormalities such as shrinkage and disintegration when grown in the presence of antagonistic bacterial endophytes. The cell-free culture filtrates of the bacterial endophytes caused inhibition of mycelial growth and induced leakage of electrolytes from the mycelia of F. solani and Alternaria sp. This is the first study that describes inhibition of the date palm pathogens F. solani and Alternaria sp. by P. septica. Conclusion: Endophytic Pantoea septica strains isolated from date palm leaves inhibited the mycelial growth of F. solani and Alternaria sp. and induced morphological changes in their mycelia. The culture filtrates of these bacterial strains also inhibited the mycelial growth and caused leakage of electrolytes from the mycelia of F. solani and Alternaria sp. These promising bacterial strains can be exploited as biocontrol agents to control F. solani and Alternaria sp.-induced leaf spot diseases of date palm.

Original languageEnglish
Article number65
JournalEgyptian Journal of Biological Pest Control
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • Alternaria sp
  • Antifungal
  • Endophytic bacteria
  • Foliar pathogens
  • Fusarium solani
  • Phoenix doctylifera

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science
  • Insect Science

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