2023-06-23Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.3389/fpls.2023.1194887
Two plant-associated Bacillus velezensis strains selected after genome analysis, metabolite profiling, and with proved biocontrol potential, were enhancing harvest yield of coffee and black pepper in large field trials
Elimination of chemically synthesized pesticides, such as fungicides and nematicides, in agricultural products is a key to successful practice of the Vietnamese agriculture. We describe here the route for developing successful biostimulants based on members of the Bacillus subtilis species complex. A number of endospore-forming Gram-positive bacterial strains with antagonistic action against plant pathogens were isolated from Vietnamese crop plants. Based on their draft genome sequence, thirty of them were assigned to the Bacillus subtilis species complex. Most of them were assigned to the species Bacillus velezensis. Whole genome sequencing of strains BT2.4 and BP1.2A corroborated their close relatedness to B. velezensis FZB42, the model strain for Gram-positive plant growth-promoting bacteria. Genome mining revealed that at least 15 natural product biosynthesis gene clusters (BGCs) are well conserved in all B. velezensis strains. In total, 36 different BGCs were identified in the genomes of the strains representing B. velezensis, B. subtilis, Bacillus tequilensis, and Bacillus. altitudinis. In vitro and in vivo assays demonstrated the potential of the B. velezensis strains to enhance plant growth and to suppress phytopathogenic fungi and nematodes. Due to their promising potential to stimulate plant growth and to support plant health, the B. velezensis strains TL7 and S1 were selected as starting material for the development of novel biostimulants, and biocontrol agents efficient in protecting the important Vietnamese crop plants black pepper and coffee against phytopathogens. The results of the large-scale field trials performed in the Central Highlands in Vietnam corroborated that TL7 and S1 are efficient in stimulating plant growth and protecting plant health in large-scale applications. It was shown that treatment with both bioformulations resulted in prevention of the pathogenic pressure exerted by nematodes, fungi, and oomycetes, and increased harvest yield in coffee, and pepper.