Screening and interaction between pathogens and antagonistic seed-borne fungi, associated with some organic spices and vegetable crops in Tunisia

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of biological sciences and plant protection, Higher Agronomic Institute of Chott Mariem, 4042 Sousse, UR13AGR03, University of Sousse, Tunisia

2 Technical Center of Organic Agriculture, Chott Mariem, 4042 Sousse, Tunisia

3 Unit of Horticulture, Landscape and Environment, Higher Agronomic Institute of Chott Mariem, 4042 Sousse, UR13AGR03, University of Sousse, Tunisia


Seed-borne pathogenic and antagonistic fungi were isolated from the same organic vegetable and spice seeds (carrot, fennel, broad bean, faba bean, and lettuce), and the interaction between them were studied as a part of a biocontrol assay. In vitro dual culture assay between each pathogen and the antagonists on PDA medium was made, which led to the inhibition of the pathogens mycelial growth. According to results generated for fennel seed-borne fungi, direct confrontation of the five pathogens (Botrytis cinerea, Sclerotinia sclerotiorum, Cladosporium cladosporiodes, Cladosporium link and Bispora sp.), with Aspergillus niger and Penicillium digitatum showed an inhibition of radial growth above 50%. For lettuce; the highest inhibition was recorded by Trichoderma harzianum in confrontation with S. sclerotiorum, and P. digitatum in confrontation with Alternaria alternata. For carrot, three fungal pathogens were identified as: A. alternata, A. solani and Pythium sp., which were faced with three antagonists (P. chrysogenum, A. niger and T. harzianum), and showed radial inhibition about 50%. Concerning broad bean and baba bean; only A. alternta was isolated, and has been confronted with T. harzianum, P. digitatum, and P. italicum. During in vivo assays on fennel plant in the greenhouse; a disease severity index caused by various pathogens alone and in combination with antagonists compared to control plants, was recorded. According to results observed, fennel plants inoculated with B. cinerea and treated curatively with P. digitatum and preventively with A. niger; recorded a low disease severity index value of 0.22. This work was carried out to find effective seed-borne bioagents that could cause in vitro and in vivo inhibition of the growth of several fungal pathogens of vegetables; thus could be applied in the field for the biocontrol of fungal spice and vegetable crops diseases.


Volume 3, Issue 1
January and February 2019
Pages 232-242
  • Receive Date: 28 January 2019
  • Revise Date: 15 February 2019
  • Accept Date: 23 February 2019
  • First Publish Date: 23 February 2019