Suppression of Rhizoctonia solani diseases of sugar beet by antagonistic and plant growth-promoting yeasts

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Aims: Isolates of Candida valida, Rhodotorula glutinis and Trichosporon asahii from the rhizosphere of sugar beet in Egypt were examined for their ability to colonize roots, to promote plant growth and to protect sugar beet from Rhizoctonia solani AG-2-2 diseases, under glasshouse conditions. Methods and Results: Root colonization abilities of the three yeast species were tested using the root colonization plate assay and the sand-tube method. In the root colonization plate assay, C. valida and T. asahii colonized 95% of roots after 6 days, whilst Rhod. glutinis colonized 90% of roots after 8 days. Root-colonization abilities of the three yeast species tested by the sand-tube method showed that roots and soils attached to roots of sugar beet seedlings were colonized to different degrees. Population densities showed that the three yeast species were found at all depths of the rhizosphere soil adhering to taproots up to 10 cm, but population densities were significantly (P < 0.05) greater in the first 4 cm of the root system compared with other root depths. The three yeast species, applied individually or in combination, significantly (P < 0.05) promoted plant growth and reduced damping off, crown and root rots of sugar beet in glasshouse trials. The combination of the three yeasts (which were not inhibitory to each other) resulted in significantly (P < 0.05) better biocontrol of diseases and plant growth promotion than plants exposed to individual species. Conclusions: Isolates of C. valida, Rhod. glutinis and T. asahii were capable of colonizing sugar beet roots, promoting growth of sugar beet and protecting the seedlings and mature plants from R. solani diseases. This is the first successful attempt to use yeasts as biocontrol agents against R. solani which causes root diseases. Significance and Impact of the Study: Yeasts were shown to provide significant protection to sugar beet roots against R. solani, a serious soil-borne root pathogen. Yeasts also have the potential to be used as biological fertilizers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-75
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Applied Microbiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • Biological control
  • Growth promotion
  • Rhizosphere competence
  • Soil-borne plant pathogens
  • Yeasts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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