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Isolation and molecular characterization of a novel strain of Bacillus with antifungal activity from the sorghum rhizosphere

Author(s): S.C. Martinez-Absalon, Ma. del C. Orozco-Mosqueda, M.M. Martinez-Pacheco, R. Farias-Rodriguez, M. Govindappa and G. Santoyo

We looked for bacterial strains with antifungal activity in the sorghum rhizosphere. A prescreening procedure to search for hemolytic activity among the isolated strains allowed us to detect good fungitoxic activity in a bacterial isolate that we named UM96. This bacterial isolate showed strong growth inhibition in bioassays against the pathogens Diaporthe phaseolorum, Colletotrichum acutatum, Rhizoctonia solani, and Fusarium oxysporum. The supernatant of isolate UM96 also showed strong hemolytic activity, which was not observed in the protease-treated supernatant. However, the supernatant that was treated with protease had similar antagonistic effects to those exhibited by the supernatant that was not treated with this enzyme. These results suggest that a bacteriocin-like compound is responsible for the hemolytic activity; whereas, as far as antifungal effect is concerned, an antibioticof nonribosomal origin, such as a lipopeptide, might be acting. Further molecular characterization by partial 16S rDNA sequencing placed isolate UM96 in a cluster with Bacillus amyloliquefaciens; however, the highest identity match found in databases of Bacillus species was 91% identity. This suggests that Bacillus sp UM96 might be a novel species.