Bell pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) fruit are susceptible to various molds, including grey mold and Alternaria rot. In this work, antagonistic bacteria isolated from disease-suppressive composts were assessed for their ability to reduce the mycelial growth of Botrytis cinerea Persoon and Alternaria alternata (Fries) Keissler as well as to suppress grey mold and Alternaria rot on bell pepper. Results showed that different bacterial antagonists reduced mycelial growth of B. cinerea and A. alternata by up to 49% and 53%, respectively. The bacteria provided inhibition of grey mold, reducing incidence and severity by as much as 43% and 67%, respectively. The isolates also provided strong inhibitory effects against Alternaria rot, decreasing incidence and severity by as much as 77% and 80%, respectively. Pseudomonas and Arthrobacter spp. were particularly suppressive to Alternaria rot. Results of this study suggest antagonistic bacteria may represent a potential method for controlling fruit rot of bell pepper.

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Department of Chemistry

Luo, M. (Meiqing), Purdy, H. (Hannah), & Avis, T. (2019). Compost bacteria provide antifungal activity against grey mold and Alternaria rot on bell pepper fruit. Botany, 97(3), 221–230. doi:10.1139/cjb-2018-0180