ABS87684

An assessment of Lactic Acid Bacteria as potential biocontrol agents against Fusarium head blight in spring barley


  • Oral Presentation
  • Plant Pathology
  • 12 Jun 2018 10:40
  • FS-G01, UCD Agriculture and food science Centre
  • View all IPSAM abstracts

Micheál Byrne*
Department of Crop Science, School of Agriculture and Food Science, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland

Ganesh Thapa
Earth institute, SBES, Science East, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland

James I. Burke
Department of Crop Science, School of Agriculture and Food Science, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland

*Presenting Author


Fusarium head blight (FHB) is a devastating economic disease encountered by barley crops worldwide, caused mainly by Fusarium graminearum and Fusarium culmorum under Irish and UK conditions. This study evaluated the effect of six Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) isolates on the control of FHB under in vitro, glasshouse and field conditions. LAB isolates were screened based on their ability to control Fusarium growth in in vitro sourdough cultures. Under dual-culture assays, inhibition zones of up to 10.49% and 17.16% of total plate area were recorded for the most effective LAB isolates compared to the control (0.16%). Detached-leaf assays further validated the antifungal activity and showed the potential of all test isolates to significantly inhibit spore production. Spray inoculations of LAB 24 hours prior to Fusarium spore applications significantly reduced disease severity for five isolates (P < 0.05). Mycotoxin analysis showed one LAB isolate to reduce Deoxynivalenol compared with the positive control (P < 0.05). Under field conditions, these LAB isolates showed varying potentials as disease control agents across sites, cultivars and seasons. A preliminary gene expression experiment also provided evidence that LAB influence the expression of important FHB defence related marker genes in spring barley. These results indicate a potential for LAB as part of an Integrated pest management strategy for the management of FHB. This work was emanated from a joint collaboration between the Department of Crop Science, School of Agriculture and Food Science, University College Dublin and the School of Food and Nutritional Sciences, University College Cork with financial support from DAFM.