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Scientia Agricola

On-line version ISSN 1678-992X


SHIOMI, Humberto Franco et al. Bioprospecting endophytic bacteria for biological control of coffee leaf rust. Sci. agric. (Piracicaba, Braz.) [online]. 2006, vol.63, n.1, pp.32-39. ISSN 1678-992X.

Suppression of plant diseases due to the action of endophytic microorganisms has been demonstrated in several pathosystems. Experiments under controlled conditions involving endophytic bacteria isolated from leaves and branches of Coffea arabica L and Coffea robusta L were conducted with the objective of evaluating the inhibition of germination of Hemileia vastatrix Berk. & Br., race II, urediniospores and the control of coffee leaf rust development in tests with leaf discs, detached leaves, and on potted seedling of cv. Mundo Novo. The endophytic bacterial isolates tested proved to be effective in inhibiting urediniospore germination and/or rust development, with values above 50%, although the results obtained in urediniospore germination tests were inferior to the treatment with fungicide propiconazole. Endophytic isolates TG4-Ia, TF2-IIc, TF9-Ia, TG11-IIa, and TF7-IIa, demonstrated better coffee leaf rust control in leaf discs, detached leaves, and coffee plant tests. The endophytic isolates TG4-Ia and TF9-Ia were identified as Bacillus lentimorbus Dutky and Bacillus cereus Frank. & Frank., respectively. Some endophytic bacterial isolates were effective in controlling the coffee leaf rust, although some increased the severity of the disease. Even though a relatively small number of endophytic bacteria were tested, promising results were obtained regarding the efficiency of coffee leaf rust biocontrol. These selected agents appears to be an alternative for future replacement of chemical fungicide.

Keywords : Hemileia vastatrix; Coffea spp.; Bacillus; biocontrol.

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