Role of Chitinolytic Enzymes and Volatile Compounds Produced by Endophytic Bacteria in the Inhibition of Mango (Mangifera indica L.) Root Rot Pathogens


  • ICAR Research Complex for Goa, Goa, 403402, India
  • VIT University, Division of Environmental biotechnology, School of Biotechnology, Chemical and Biomedical Engineering, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, 632014, India


Endophytic and rhizobacteria isolated from different crops of Goa were studied for the chitinolytic activity and inhibition of fungal pathogens. Fifty-eight isolates were screened in vitro against three fungal pathogens, ., Macrophomina phaseolina, Rhizoctonia solani and Sclerotium rolfsii which cause seedling and graft mortality in mango nurseries. Results indicated that 40% of the isolates effectively inhibited the growth of all the three pathogens and 34% inhibited the growth of M. phaseolina and S. rolfsii under in vitro conditions. Chitinolytic ability of the isolates was tested by growing them in minimal synthetic medium with 0.2% colloidal chitin. Twelve isolates effectively utilized colloidal chitin as a sole carbon source for their growth. Quantitative chitinase assay revealed that the isolates produced significant amounts of chitinase in the minimal medium and the crude chitinase extract of nine endophytic (EB65, EB69, EBh11, EC2, EC2a, EC14, EC18, ESC4, ET14) and three rhizobacteria (IISR6, PDBC-AB2, RBh42) inhibited the mycelial growth as well as sclerotial germination of R. solani and S. rolfsii. Quantitative assay of chitinase showed that three endophytic bacteria (EBh11, EC18 and EC14) showed maximum chitinase activity. Chitinolytic bacteria reduced the population of all the three fungi when introduced into the soil. Further, most of the isolates produced IAA and solubilized inorganic phosphate in the medium. This study reveals that chitinolytic bacteria, especially endophytes with growth promoting mechanisms, could be better biocontrol agents in the suppression of soil borne phytopathogens.


Chitinolytic Enzymes, Volatile Compounds, Mango, Root Rot, Macrophomina phaseolina, Rhizoctonia solani, Sclerotium rolfsii, Antagonism.

Subject Discipline

Agriculture Sciences

Full Text:


Ahmad, F., Ahmad, I. and Khan, M. S. 2006. Screening offree-living rhizospheric bacteria for their multipleplant growth promoting activities. MicrobiologicalResearch, 163: 173–181.

Bais, H. P., Park, S. W., Weir, T. L., Callaway, R. M. andVivanco, J. M. 2004. How plants communicateusing the underground information superhighway.Trends in Plant Sciences, 9: 26–32.

Berg, G., Marten, P. and Ballin, G. 1996. Stenotrophomonasmaltophilia in the rhizosphere of oilseed rape:Occurrence, characterization and interaction withphytopathogenic fungi. Microbiology Research,151:19–27.

Chang, W. T, Chen, C. S. and Wang, S. L. 2003. An antifungalchitinase produced by Bacillus cereus with shrimpand crab shell powder as a carbon source. CurrentMicrobiology, 47: 102–108.

Chanway, C. P., Shishido, M., Nairn, J., Jungwirth, S.,Markham, J., Xiao, G. and Holl, F. G. 2000.Endophytic colonization and field responses ofhybrid spruce seedlings after inoculation withplant growth-promoting rhizobacteria. ForestEcology and Management, 133: 81–88.

Chet, I. and Inbar, J. 1994. Biological control offungal pathogens. Applied Biochemistry andBiotechnology, 48: 37–43.

Chung, H., Park, M., Madhaiyan, M., Seshadri, S., Song, J.,Cho, H., Sa, T. 2005. Isolation and characterizationof phosphate solubilising bacteria from therhizosphere of crop plants of Korea. Soil Biologyand Biochemistry, 37: 1970–1974.

Dave, A. and Patel, H. H. 2003. Impact of different carbonand nitrogen sources on phosphate solubilizationby Pseudomonas fluorescens. Indian Journal ofMicrobiology, 43: 33–36.

De Boer, W., Gerards, S., Klein Gunnewiek, P. J. A.,Modderman, R., 1999. Response of the chitinolyticmicrobial community to chitin amendments of dunesoils. Biology Fertility of Soils, 29: 170–177.

Duffy, B. K. 2001. Competition, pp. 243–244. In: Maloy,O.C. and Murray, T. D. (Eds.) Encyclopedia ofplant pathology, John Wiley and Sons, Inc., NewYork, USA.

Fernando, W. G. D., Ramarathnam, R., Krishnamoorthy,A. S. and Sarah, C. S. 2005. Identification and useof potential bacterial organic antifungal volatilesin biocontrol. Soil Biology and Biochemistry,37: 955–964.

Fridlender, M.J., Inbar, I., Chet, I. 1993. Biological controlof soil borne plant pathogens by a β-1,3- glucanaseproducingPseudomonas cepacia. Soil Biology andBiochemistry, 25: 1211–1221.

Gorden, S. A. and Paleg, L. G. 1957. Quantitativemeasurement of indole acetic acid. PlantPhysiology, 10: 37–48.

Helisto, P., Aktuganov, G., Galimzianova, N., Melentjev,A. and Korpela, T. 2001. Lytic enzyme complexof an antagonistic Bacillus sp. X-b: isolationand purification of components. Journal ofChromatography,, 758: 197–205.

Howell, C. R., Beier, R. C., and Stipanovic, R. D. 1988.Reproduction of ammonia by Enterobactercloacae and its possible role in the biologicalcontrol of Pythium pre-emergence damping-off bythe bacterium. Phytopathology ,78: 1075–1078.

Hsu, S. C. and Lockwood, J. L. 1975. Powdered chitinagar as a selective medium for enumerationof actinomycetes in water and soil. AppliedMicrobiology, 29: 422–426.

Kai, M., Effmert, U., Berg, G. and Piechulla, B. 2006.Volatiles of bacterial antagonists inhibit mycelialgrowth of the plant pathogen Rhizoctonia solani.Archives in Microbiology, 187: 351–360.

King, E. O., Ward, M. K. and Raney, D. E. 1954. Twosimple media for the demonstration of pyocyanineand fluorescin. Journal of Laboratory and ClinicalMedicine, 44: 301–307.

Miller, R. L. and Higgins, V. J. 1970. Association of cyanidewith infection of birdfoot trefoil by Stemphyliumloti. Phytopathology , 60: 104–110.

Moricca, S.; Ragazzi, A., Mitchelson, K. R. and Assante,G. 2001. Antagonism of the two-needle pine stemrust fungi Cronartium flaccidum and Peridermiumpini by Cladosporium tenuissimum in vitro and inplanta. Phytopathology, 91: 457–468.

Neilsen, M. N., Sorensen, J., Fels, J. and Pedersen, H. C.1998. Secondary metabolite and endochitinasedependent antagonism toward plant-pathogenicmicrofungi of Pseudomonas fluorescens isolatesfrom sugar beet rhizosphere. Applied andEnvironmental Microbiology, 64: 3563–3569.

Papavizas, G. and Lumsden, R. 1980. Biological control ofsoil borne fungal propagules. Annual Review ofPhytopathology, 18: 389.

Patten, C. L. and Glick, B. R. 1996. Bacterial biosynthesisof indole-3-acetic acid. Canadian Journal ofMicrobiology, 42: 207–220.

Pikovskaya, R. I. 1948. Mobilization of phosphorus in soilin connection with the vital activity of microbialspecies. Microbiololgy, 17: 362–370.

Pisano, M. A., Sommer, M. J. and Tars, L. 1992. Bioactivityof chitinolytic actinomycetes from marine origin.Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, 36:553–555.

Ramesh, R. 2009. Management of seedling mortality inmango nursery. Extension Folder No. 35. ICARResearch Complex for Goa, Old Goa, Goa.

Ramesh, R., Joshi, A. A. and Ghanekar, M. P. 2009.Pseudomonads: major antagonistic endophyticbacteria to suppress bacterial wilt pathogen,Ralstonia solanacearum in the eggplant (Solanummelongena L.). World Journal of Microbiologyand Biotechnology, 25: 47–55.

Reissig, J. L., Jack, L., Strominger, J. L. and Leloir, L.F. 1995. A modified calorimetric method for theestimation of N-acetylamino sugars. Journal ofBiological Chemistry, 27: 959–966.

Savithri, S. and Gnanamanickam, S. S. 1987. Bacterizationof peanut with Pseudomonas fluorescens forbiological control of Rhizoctonia solani and forenhanced yield. Plant and Soil, 102: 11–15.

Silva, G. H., Costa, J. N., Campos, V. P., Oliveira, D. F.and Pfenning, L. H. 2001. Fungal metaboliteswith activity against nematodes. In: BioactiveFungal Metabolites: Impact and Exploitation.International Symposium by British MycologicalSociety, 22-27 April, Wales Swansea, U.K.

Skidmore, A. M. and Dickinson, C. H. 1976. Colonyinteractions and hyphal interference betweenSeptoria nodorum and phylloplane fungi.Transactions of British Mycological Society,66: 57–64.

Strzelczyk, E. and Pokojska-Burdzeij, A. 1984. Productionof auxins and gibberellin like substances bymycorrhizal fungi, bacteria and actinomycetesisolated from soil and the mycorrhizosphereof pine (Pinus silvestris L.) Plant and Soil,81:185–194.

Twedell, R. J., Jabaji-Hare, S. H. and Charest, P. M. 1994.Production of chitinase and β-1, 3-glucanaseby Stachybotrys elegans, a mycoparasite ofRhizoctonia solani. Applied and EnvironmentalMicrobiology, 60: 489–495.

Vasanthadevi, T., Malarvizhi, R., Sakthivel, N. andGnanamanickam, S. S. 1989. Biological controlof sheath blight of rice in India with antagonisticbacteria. Plant and Soil, 119: 325–330.

Viswanathan, R. and Samiyappan, R. 2001. Antifungalactivity of chitinase produced by fluorescentpseudomonads against Colletotrichumfalcatum Went causing red rot diseasein sugarcane. Microbiological Research,155: 305–314.


  • There are currently no refbacks.