Sixteen endophytic actinobacteria isolated from roots of native plants were evaluated for their antagonistic potential against soil-borne phytopathogenic fungi. Among them, three strong antagonistic isolates were selected and characterised for in vitro plant-growth-promoting and biocontrol traits, including production of hydrogen cyanide, indole-3-acetic acid and siderophores, chitinase and β-1,3-glucanase activities, and inorganic phosphate solubilisation. In all trials, the strain Streptomyces sp. SNL2 revealed promising features.
The selected actinobacteria were investigated for the biocontrol of Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. radicis lycopersici and for growth promotion of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L. cv. Aïcha) seedlings in autoclaved and non-autoclaved soils. All seed-bacterisation treatments significantly reduced the root rot incidence compared to a positive control (with infested soil), and the isolate SNL2 exhibiting the highest protective activity. It reduced the disease incidence from 88.5% to 13.2%, whereas chemical seed treatment with Thiram® provided 14.6% disease incidence.
Furthermore, isolate SNL2 resulted in significant increases in the dry weight, shoot and root length of seedlings. 16S rDNA sequence analysis showed that isolate SNL2 was related to Streptomyces asterosporus NRRL B-24328T (99.52% of similarity). Its interesting biocontrol potential and growth enhancement of tomato seedlings open up attractive uses of the strain SNL2 in crop improvement. © 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.