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Open AccessArticle

Antagonistic Potential of Novel Endophytic Bacillus Strains and Mediation of Plant Defense against Verticillium Wilt in Upland Cotton

1
State Key Laboratory of Crop Genetics and Germplasm Enhancement, College of Agriculture, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing 210095, China
2
Department of Plant Pathology, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad 38040, Pakistan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Plants 2020, 9(11), 1438; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9111438
Received: 23 September 2020 / Revised: 19 October 2020 / Accepted: 19 October 2020 / Published: 25 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Control of Plant Diseases)
Verticillium wilt caused by Verticillium dahliae is a threatening disease of cotton, causing economic loss worldwide. In this study, nine endophytic Bacillus strains isolated from cotton roots exhibited inhibitory activity against V. dahliae strain VD-080 in a dual culture assay. B. altitudinis HNH7 and B. velezensis HNH9 were chosen for further experiments based on their high antagonistic activity. The secondary metabolites of HNH7 and HNH9 also inhibited the growth of VD-080. Genetic marker-assisted detection revealed the presence of bacillibactin, surfactin, bacillomycin and fengycin encoding genes in the genome of HNH7 and HNH9 and their corresponding gene products were validated through LC-MS. Scanning electron microscopy revealed mycelial disintegration, curling and shrinkage of VD-080 hyphae after treatment with methanolic extracts of the isolated endophytes. Furthermore, a significant reduction in verticillium wilt severity was noticed in cotton plants treated with HNH7 and HNH9 as compared to control treatments. Moreover, the expression of defense-linked genes, viz., MPK3, GST, SOD, PAL, PPO and HMGR, was considerably higher in plants treated with endophytic Bacillus strains and inoculated with VD-080 as compared to control. View Full-Text
Keywords: Verticillium dahliae; cotton; B. altitudinis; B. velezensis; lipopeptides; defense-related genes Verticillium dahliae; cotton; B. altitudinis; B. velezensis; lipopeptides; defense-related genes
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MDPI and ACS Style

Hasan, N.; Farzand, A.; Heng, Z.; Khan, I.U.; Moosa, A.; Zubair, M.; Na, Y.; Ying, S.; Canming, T. Antagonistic Potential of Novel Endophytic Bacillus Strains and Mediation of Plant Defense against Verticillium Wilt in Upland Cotton. Plants 2020, 9, 1438.

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