Biological control – Eradication of Alternate and Collateral Hosts

Biological control – Eradication of Alternate and Collateral Hosts

 Biological control is defined as the reduction of inoculum density or disease producing activities of a pathogen or parasite in its active or dormant stage by one or more organisms accomplished naturally or through manipulation of the environment, host or by introduction of one or more antagonists or by mass introduction of one or more antagonists.
 Biological control is but control of plant diseases using living microorganisms.
 Root rot disease (Macrophomina phaseolina) is a major disease in pulses, oilseeds, cofton, etc., and the most common method of control is using fungicides.
 But the chemical methods are uneconomical and law effective, as seed treatment with chemical may give protection only in the early stages of crop growth 2 weeks.
 In addition, it is harmful to the beneficial microorganisms in soil and creates residual problems.
 So, the biological control can be very efficacy used for the root rot disease management as the biological agent multiply in soil and offer protection throughout the crop growth.

The four main mechanisms involved in the biocontrol are

(i)The biological agent (antagonist), may parasite the other organism,
(ii)Antagonist may secrete metabolites (antibiotics) harmful to the pathogens (Antibiosis)
(iii)Antagonist may compete with the pathogens for nutrients or space (Competition) and
(iv)May cause death of the parasite by producing enzymes (Lysis).

Parasitism and Lysis

 The biocontrol against parasitizes the pathogen by coiling around the hyphae, e.g., Trichoderma viride; various bacteria and fungi secrete hydrolytic about the degradation of cell wall of pathogens. e.g.
(i)Bacillus sp. causes hyphal lysis of Gaeumanornyces graminis
(ii)The chitnolytic enzymes of Serratia marcescens caused cell wall lysis of Scierotium rolfsii.
(iii)Trichoderma sp. produces chitinases and β-1,3 glucanases which lyses the cell wall of Rhizoctonia solani.


 The antibiotic compounds secreted by the biocontrol agent suppress the growth of the pathogen. e.g. Phenazine-l-carboxylic acid produced by P fluorescens plays an important role in suppressing the take all disease of wheat.


 The biocontrol bacteria and fungi compete for food and essential elements with the pathogen thereby displacing and suppressing the growth of pathogen. e.g.
(i)the competition for nutrients between Pythium aphanidermatum, P ultimum and bacteria suppress the damping off disease in cucumbers.
(ii)Fluorescent siderophores (iron chelaters) such as pseudobactinis & pyoverdins produced by P fluorescons chelates iron available in the soil, thereby depriving the pathogen of Its Fe requirements.
A.Trichoderma Viride
 The fungus, Trichoderma vitide is one such biocontrol agent, mainly used for the control of root rot diseases of pulses and oil seeds in Tamil Nadu.
 A mass production technology for T.viride has been developed by Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore.

Systematic Position

Asexual (conidial) Sexual (sscospore)

Sub division : Deuteromycotina Ascomycotina

Class : Hypomycetes Pyremomycetes Order : Moniliales Sphaeriales Family : Moniliaceae Hypocreaceae Genus : Trichoderma Hypocrea


Isolation of Trichoderma from soil

 Trichoderma is isolated from the soil by using Trichoderma selective medium developed by Elad and Chet (I 983).
 Collect soil samples from the field, mix well and make it into fine particles.
 Soil samples should be collected in root zone at 5-1 5 cm depth and from rhizosphere wherever possible.
 Ten gram of soil sample is taken, and suspended in 100 ml of sterile distilled water and stirred well to get I : IO dilution.
 Transfer one ml from this to 9 ml of sterile water in a test tube to get 1: 100 dilution.
 Make serial dilutions by transferring one ml of suspension to subsequent tubes to get dilution of 1: 1 0,000.
 Transfer one ml of the desired soil suspension to sterile petriplates.
 Pour 15 ml of melted and cooled Trichoderma selective medium in the same petriplates.
 Rotate the plate gently and allow to solidify, incubate at room temperature for 5-7 days and observe for the development of fungal colonies.
 Trichoderma colonies will be white initially and turn to green. Count the number of colonies developing in individual plates.
 Transfer the individual colonies to potato de)drose agar slants.

Testing Method

Dual Culture Technique

 It consists of growing the test organism and the pathogenic organism on the same plate.
 This ran be done by the following procedure.
 Transfer 15-20 ml of melted and cooled PDA to sterilised petridishes.
 Allow it to solidify.
 Transfer 8 mm disc of test organism to one end of the petriplate.
 In the opposite end, 8 mm disc of the pathogenic culture is transferred in the same petriplate (if the antagonistic micro- organism is slow growing it should be plated in the previous day itself).
 Incubate the plate at room temperature.
 Observe the development of inhibition zone.
 Observe under microscope where both the test organism and the pathogen come in contact.

Mass Production

 Molasses yeast medium (Molasses 30g + yeast 5g + water 1000ml) is prepared in conical flasks and sterilized at 1.1 kg/CM 2 for 20 minutes.
 T.viride culture is inoculated by taking a fungal disc from 10 day old culture and incubated for 10 days.
 This serves as mother culture.
 Molasses yeast medium is prepared in a fermenter and sterilized.
 Then, the mother culture is added to the fermenter @ 1.5 litre/50 litres of medium and incubated at room temperature for 10 days.
 The fungal biomass and broth are mixed with talc powder at 1:2 ratio.
 The mixture is air dried and mixed with carboxy methyl cellulose (CMC) @ 5g / kg of the product.
 It is packed in Polythene covers and used within 4 months.

Quality Control Specifications

1.Fresh product should contain not less than 28 X 10 6 CfU / g
2.After 120 days of storage at room temperature, the population should be 10 x IO 6 cfu / g.
3.Maximum storage period using talc as carrier is 120 days.
4.Size of the carrier (talc) should be 500 microns.
5.Product should be packed in white Polythene bags.
6.Moisture content of the final product should not be more than 20%.
B.Bacillus subtilis
 This bacterium is widely used for the control of soil-bome plant pathogens like Macrophomina phaseolina, Rhizoctonia solani, Fusarium spp. etc.
 This treatment also considerably improves the plant growth and yield.
 Bacillus subtilis is a rod shaped, thermophilic gram positive, aerobic bacterium.
 Roots may be formed in chains. It is 5-6 mm in length and 2-3 mm in width.
 It forms endospores during adverse conditions.


 One gram of soil sample is mixed with 9 ml sterilized nutrient broth in a test tube.
 This has to be kept on a boiling waterbath at 800C for 10 minutes.
 Then it is kept for incubation at root temperature for 24-48 hrs.
 From this serial dilution is prepared upto 10-6 dilution.
 Dilution 10-5 and 10 -6 are plated In Nutrient Agar and incubated for 24- 48 hrs. B. subtilis colonies will be rough, opaque with irregular margins.

Staining for Identification

 Bacterial smear is prepared with 24 hours old culture, air dried and heat fixed.
 The slide is flooeded with crystal violet for 60 seconds and then washed with tap water.
 Then, the slide is flooded with Grams iodine mordant for 60 seconds and washed with tap water.
 It is then the smear is counter strained with safranin for seconds, washed with tap water, blot dried and observed under microscope.
 Bacillus subtilis appeared violet since it,is gram positive.

Biochemical tests for Identification

The following biochemical tests are carried out for identification.

1.Starch hydrolysis
2.Catalase test
3.Nitrate reduction test
4.Acid and gas production test
 Bacillus subtilis is amylase positive catalase positive, nitrate positive, acid positive and gas negative.

Mass multiplication

 Nutrient broth (Peptone 5g, beef extract 3g, sodium chloride 3g in 1 litre of distilled water, pH7) is prepared and sterilized at 1.1 kg/ CM 2 pressure for 20 minutes.
 One loopful of B. subtilis is inoculated and incubated for 24 hours.
 This serves as mother culture.
 One litre of mother culture is transferred to 100 litres of sterilized nutrient broth in a fermenter and the bacterial growth is harvested after 72 hrs.
 Then it is mixed with 250 kg of sterilized peat soil amended with 37 kg Calcium carbonate, dried in shade and packed in Polythene bags.
 This product can be stored upto 6 months.
C.Pseudomonas fluorescens
 This is another bacterium effectively used in controlling sheath blight and blast of paddy, wilt diseases of redgram, and banana.
 Pseudomonas fluorescens is a gram negative, rod shaped nonspore forming bacteria which may be mono or lopotrichous or non motile.
 It produces greenish, fluorescent and water soluble pigment, pyoverdin.
 The direct influence of pseudomonas on plant growth is mediated either by release of auxin-like substances or through improved uptake of nutrients in the environment.
 The indirect promotion of plant growth is achieved when fluorescent Pseudomonas decreases or prevents the deleterious influence of phytopathogens.


 One gram of rhizosphere soil sample is mixed in 100 ml of sterilewaterto give 1:100dilution.
 From this serial dilutions upto 10 -7 level are made by repeatedly transferring 1 ml of 1:I00 dilution to 9 ml sterile water stants 10 -5

, 10 -6 and 10 -7 dilutions are plated in kings B Agar medium and incubated for 24-48 hours.

 P ftuorescens appears as smooth, slimy, circular translucent colonies.

Mass production

 P. fluorescens is multiplied in sterilized Kings ‘B’ broth for 48 hours.
 The pH of the substrate (Peat soil or talc powder) is adjusted to 7 by adding calcium carbonate @150 g / kg.
 The substrate is then sterilized at 1.1 kg/cm 2 pressure for 30 minutes for two successive days.
 Four hundred ml of P. fluorescens suspension is added to 1 kg of substrate containing 5 g of carboxy methyl cellulose and mixed well.
 The formulation is packed in Polythene covers and can be stored for one month.

Quality Control

1.Fresh product should contain 2.5 x I 0″ cfu / g
2.After 3 months of storage at room temperature, the population should be 8-9 x 10 7 CfU / g.
3.Storage period is 3-4 months
4.Minimum population load for use is 1.0 x I0 8 cfu / g.
5.Product should be packed in white Polythene bags.
6.Moisture content of the product should not be more than 20% in the final product.
7.Population per ml of the broth is 9 ± 2 x 1 0 8 cfu / g.

Methods of Application

Crop: Paddy -blast, sheath blight

1.Seed Treatment
 Mix paddy seeds with the formulation at the rate of 10 g per kg of seeds and soak the seeds in water for ovemight.
 Decant the excess water and allow to sprout the seeds for 24 hrs and then sow.
2.Seedling root dipping
 Apply 2.5 kg of the formulation to the water stagnated in an area of 25 sq.m.
 The seedlings, after pulling out from the nursery can be left in the stagnating water containing the bacteria.
 A minimum period of 30 minutes is necessary for soaking the roots and prolonged soaking will enhance the efficacy.
3.Soil application
 Apply the product @ 2.5 kg / ha after 30 days of transplanting (This product should be mixed with 50 kg of well decomposed FYM / sand and then applied).

Foilar application

 Spray the product at 0.2% concentration (1 kg/ha) commencing from 45 days after transplanting at 10 days interval for 3 times depending on disease intensity.
 If there is no disease incidence, a single spray is sufficient.

Crop: Groundnut, Gingelly, Sunflower, Redgram, Greengram, Blackgram – root rot and wilt

Seed treatment :

 10 g /kg of seeds

Soil application :

 Apply 2.5 kg/ha. mixed with 50 kg of well decomposed FYM / sand at 30 days after sowing.

Crop : Banana – Fusarium wilt Sucker treatment:

 10 g/sucker

Capsule application:

 50 mg / capsule / sucker.
 Apply once in 3 months from 3 months after planting

Soil application:

 2.5 kg / ha + 50 kg FYM / sand
 Apply once at the time of planting and repeat it once In 3 months.

Plant Products and Antiviral principles in plant disease management

 Plant products play an important role in evolving an ecologically sound and environmentally acceptable disease management system.
 Plant products have been found to have fungicidal, bactericidal and antiviral properties.
 It is well established that about 346 plant products have fungicidal properties, 92 have bactericidal and 90 have antiviral properties.
 This clearly indicates that the plant kingdom is a vast storehouse of chemicals that can check several plant pathogens.
 As many of them have more than one type of activity there is a less chance for development of resistance and moreover, the plant products are safer to non-target organisms.

Neem Products

 Among the plant products, the neem derivatives are reported to be effective in controlling several diseases.
 The neem tree (Azadirachta indica), popularly called as china berry, crackjack, Nim, Indian lilac, margosa and paradise tree, contains several active principles in various parts.
 The important active principles are Azadirachtin, Nimbin, Nimbidin, Nimbinene, Nimbridic acid and Azadirone which have anitifungal and insecticidal properties.
(i)Neem Seed Kernel Extract (NSKE)
 It is prepared by soaking 5 kg of powdered neem seed kernel (in a gunny bag) in 100 litres of water for 8 hours.
 The gunny bag is then removed afterthorough shaking.
 Then, 100 ml of teepol is mixed thoroughly, before spraying.
 The quantity of extract required for a liectare is 500 litres,
(ii)Neem oil solution
 One hundred nil of tempol is mixed first with 100 litres of water, Then, 3 litres of neem oil is slowly added to this solution with constant shaking.
 The milky solution formed is ready for spray.
 The spray volume is 500 litres/ha.
(iii)Neem cake extract
 Ten kg of powdered neem cake in a gunny bag is soaked in 100 litres of water for 8 hours.
 The gunny bagis removed after thorough shaking.
 Then, 100 ml of sticker is added and mixed well.
 The quantity of spray fluid required is 500 litres / ha.
(iv)Neem cake
 Powdered neem cake is directly applied to the field at the time of last ploughing.
 The quantity applied is 150 kg/ha.

Diseases controlled by neem products


Tungro (virus) (Vector:

 Nophotettix virescens) Neem cake is applied at 150 kg/ha as basal dose.
 In addition, 3% neem oil or 5% NSKE @) 500 l/ ha can be sprayed.
 If one jassid is noticed in a plant. Three sprays have to be given at 15 days interval.
(b)Paddy :

Sheath rot (Acrocyfindrium oryzae)

 Five per cent NSKE or 3% neem oil can be sprayed @ 500 lit/ ha at the time of grain emergence.

Blast (Pyricularia oryzae)

 Spraying 5% neem oil is effective

Sheath blight (Rhizoctonia solani)

 Application of 150 Kg of neem cake/ha
(e)Groundnut :

Rust (Puccinia arachidis)

 Application of 3% neem oil @ 500 lit/ha.
 The first spray should be given immediately on noticing the symptom and second 15 days later.
(f)Groundnut :

Foot rot (Sclerotium rolfsii)

 Application of 1 % neem oil is effective.

Wilt (Ganoderma lucidum)

 Application of 5 kg of neem cake/ tree/ year during the rainy season.
(h)Black gram:

Powdery mildew (Erysiphe polygoni)

 Two sprays with 3% neem oil or 5% NSKE, starting first spray at the initiation of the disease and second 15 days later are effective.
(i)Black gram:

Root rot (Macrophomina phaseolina)

 Application of neem cake @ 150 kg/ha
(j)Black gram:

Yeliow mosaic (Virus)

 Application of 3% neem oil is effective.

Root rot (M. phaseolina)

 Application of neem cake @ 150 kg/ha.

Other Plant Products

 In addition to the neem products, products from several other plant species are also found to be effective in disease management.
 The leaf extract of tuisi (Ocimum sanctum) is found effective against Helminthosporium oryzae (paddy brown spot).
 The leaf and pollen extracts of vilvam (Aegle marmolos) effectively reduced early blight of tomato (Altenaria solani) and blight of onion (A. porri).
 A. solani is also effectively checked by flower extract of periwinkle (Catheranthus roseus) and bulb extract of garlic (Allium sativum).
 Rice discolouration caused by Drechslera oryzae is effectively reduced by leaf extract of mint (Mentha piperita).
 The bulb extract of garlic is also effective in reducing leaf blight of finger millet (H. nodulosum) and blast of paddy (Pyricularia oryzae).
 The root exudates of kolinji and rhizome extract of banana are effectively used against Ganoderma lucidum, the pathogen of Thanjavur wilt of coconut.
 The seed oil of pinnai (Calophyllum inophyllum) is effective against Puccinia arachidis causing groundnut rust.
 Leaf extract of nochi (Vitex negundo) effectively reduced, Rice Tungro viruses by checking the vector, Nephotettix virescens.

Anti Viral Principle (AVP)

 Plants are also known to contain some compounds which are inhibitory to virus. They are called Anti-Viral Principles (AVP) or AntiViral Factors (AVF).
 The leaf extracts of sorghum, coconut, bougainvillea, Prosopis juliflora and Cyanodon dactylon are known to contain virus inhibiting principles.

Preparation of AVP extract

 Dried coconut or sorghum leaves are cut and powdered.
 Twenty kg of leaf powder is mixed with 50 litres of water and heated at 60 0 C for one hour.
 It is filtered and volume is made upto 200 litres.
 This gives 10 per cent extract.
 Five hundred litres of extract is required to cover one hectare.
 The 10 per cent AVP extract is very effective in controlling groundnut ring mosaic virus (bud necrosis).
 Two sprays are to be given at ten and twenty days after sowing.
 Similarly of percent leaf extracts of P. juliflora and C. dactylon effectively reduced the tomato spotted wilt virus in tomato.
 The leaf extracts are known to contain some proteinaceous substances which induce virus inhibition in the plants.
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