Biocontrol of pepper wilt with three Bacillus species and its effect on growth and yield

FD Hernández-Castillo, RH Lira-Saldivar, G Gallegos-Morales, M Hernández-Suárez, S Solis-Gaona


One of the most severe phytosanitary problems that face chili pepper producers in Mexico, and in many other parts of the world, is the disease known as "secadera" or wilting, caused by diverse pathogens. These patogens are mainly controlled with synthetic pesticides,thus causing a severe ecological impact, toxicity to humans, generation of plant resistance to fungicides, and increments of production costs. Because of this, it rises the need of finding more environmentally friendly options. We evaluated rhizospheric bacteria as a possible biological control of pepper wilt. We used three bacterial strains belonging to the Bacillus genera. These strains were initially inoculated to the root of pepper seedlings, and later to the substrate where the seedlings were transplanted to. Results showed that these strains significantly inhibited the infective action of Phytophthora capsici, Rhizoctonia solani and Fusarium oxysporum, fungi which cause pepper wilt. In addition, the Bacillus strains stimulated the vegetative growth; increased root and fruit weights and total yield; reduced the incidence and severity of the disease, and were more effective against the mentioned phytopathogens, in comparison to the synthetic fungicide used as a control.

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Phyton. International Journal of Experimental Botany. ISSN print 0031-9457 ISSN en line 1851-5657 Fundación Rómulo Raggio Gaspar Campos 861,  Vicente López, Buenos Aires, Argentina (C.P. 1638) Tel 54 11 4791-0868 / 4796-1456