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Pseudomonas and Trichoderma potential as biocontrol agents against wheat blast

Grant number: 20/01675-5
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2020
Effective date (End): August 31, 2021
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Agronomy - Plant Health
Principal Investigator:Paulo Cezar Ceresini
Grantee:Maikon Richer de Azambuja Pereira
Home Institution: Faculdade de Engenharia (FEIS). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Ilha Solteira. Ilha Solteira , SP, Brazil

Abstract

In this study we intend to determine if bacteria from the genus Pseudomonas and fungi from the genus Trichoderma have potential as antagonists toPyricularia graminis-tritici, the causal agent of the wheat blast disease. The disease is considered one of the most important, causing yield losses of up to 100% to the wheat crops. Chemical control with fungicides is the main management strategy, since there are no varieties with durable resistance to blast. However, the efficacy of fungicides molecules with specific systemic mode of action (such as strobilurins and azoles) is considered low due to the widespread distribution of fungicide resistance in the country. Considering the lack of stable varietal resistance and the ineffectiveness of fungicides, biological control is possibly a highly important sustainable alternative to minimize the impact of the wheat blast on the yield losses. Therefore, our specific objectives in this study are: i. to evaluate bacteria from the genus Pseudomonas and fungi from the genus Trichoderma for their potential as biocontrol agents against wheat blast, under greenhouse conditions; ii. to determine morphological and physiological changes on wheat plants in response to the biocontrol agents; iii. to describe the ultrastructural interactions between biocontrol agents, pathogen and plant using scanning electron microscopy. Due to the ability of these biocontrol agents to act by different mechanisms of action, such as antibiosis, competition and resistance induction, our hypothesis is that they will be efficient antagonists, significantly decreasing the severity of blast disease and its impact on wheat production. (AU)