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Brazilian Journal of Microbiology
On-line version ISSN 1678-4405
CARVALHO, Daniel D.C. et al. Rhizobacteria able to produce phytotoxic metabolites. Braz. J. Microbiol. [online]. 2007, vol.38, n.4, pp. 759-765. ISSN 1678-4405. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1517-83822007000400032.
To contribute for the development of environmental friendly methods for weed control, a selection of rhizobacteria able to produce phytotoxic substances was carried out. Initially, 35 strains previously isolated from plants in the south of Minas Gerais State (Brazil) were grown in tryptic soy broth. After removal of bacterial cells, the resulting liquids were freeze-dried and extracted with methanol/ethyl acetate (1:1). The extracts were concentrated under vacuum and dissolved in water to be submitted to a lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) seed assay. Metabolites produced by five strains reduced the number of normal seedlings to values statistically bellow the one observed for the negative control, being the most expressive results obtained with Bacillus cereus Frankland and Frankland, isolated from Ricinus communis L., which was able to cause rotted rootlets to 82.4% of seedlings. The bacterium metabolites also avoided germination of 52% Brachiaria decumbens Stapf seeds and the remaining 48% resulted in abnormal seedlings. Metabolites from B. cereus were submitted to a purification process guided by the lettuce seed assay. As a consequence, one substance causing rotted rootlets to all lettuce seedlings during the seed assay at 0.057 g/L was isolated and will be identified in future studies.
Keywords : Bacillus cereus; bioherbicide; Lactuca sativa; phytotoxin; rhizobacteria; Brachiaria decumbens.