Biological control of Verticillium wilt and growth promotion in peach by endophytic and rhizospheric soil fungi from stone fruit trees

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Plant Protection, College of Agriculture, Bu-Ali Sina University, Hamedan, Iran

2 Department of Plant Protection, Faculty of Crop Science, Sari Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources University, Sari, Iran.

3 Department of Soil Science, College of Agriculture, Bu-Ali Sina University, Hamedan, Iran

4 Department of Pathobiology, Faculty of Veterinary Sciences, Bu-Ali Sina University, Hamedan, Iran



Verticillium wilt of stone fruit trees caused by Verticillium dahliae occurs worldwide and causes serious economic losses. Control of Verticillium is difficult and costly due to its wide host range and resistant soil-borne microsclerotia. Also, increased concerns about agrochemicals have encouraged the development of biocontrol strategies. In this study, we evaluated antagonistic fungi for biocontrol of V. dahliae in vitro and greenhouse. A total of 85 endophytic and rhizospheric fungal isolates of peach and other stone fruit trees were isolated in the west Azarbaijan province, Iran. The identified fungi included Alternaria, Aspergillus, Aureobasidium, Clonostachys, Cryptococcus, Fusarium, Penicillium, and Trichoderma. The potential control of the isolates was initially evaluated by a dual culture assay. Furthermore, the antagonistic activity of fungi metabolites on the germination of microsclerotia both in vitro and in the soil was evaluated. In total, Trichoderma asperellum AE66 showed the highest inhibitory activity (73.85%) and was selected for greenhouse experiments. In the greenhouse assay on peach, T. asperellum AE66 not only reduced the progress of Verticillium wilt but also its severity. Moreover, the plant growth was promoted. These findings suggest that biocontrol provides a potentially effective strategy for the management of Verticillium wilt.


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