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Inhibition coefficient and molecular diversity of multi stress tolerant Trichoderma as potential biocontrol agent against Sclerotium rolfsii Sacc.


Trichoderma is one of the most exploited biocontrol agent for the management of plant diseases. Twenty strains of Trichoderma (six of T. harzianum, four of T. viride, three of T. virens, three of T. koningii, each one of T. hamatum, T. reesei, T. parceramosum and Trichoderma spp.) subjected to in vitro antagonism up to 12days after inoculation against Sclerotium rolfsii Sacc. causing stem rot in groundnut. A new concept was developed to determine inhibition coefficient representing pathogen biology and biocontrol related biophysical variables. Results explained differential inhibition coefficient of test pathogen by Trichoderma antagonists. The inhibition coefficient of test pathogen was examined highest (91.13%) by T. virens NBAII Tvs12 followed by T. virens MTCC 794 (89.33%) and T. koningii MTCC 796 (62.39%). Microscopic study confirmed biocontrol mechanism as mycoparasitism for Tvs12 and antibiosis for T. koningii MTCC 796. The sclerotial biogenesis of test pathogen was elevated during weak antagonism and diminished in interactions with strong antagonists. The inhibition coefficient of S. rolfsii was significantly negatively correlated with sclerotia formation and lipid peroxidation during the antagonism. Trichoderma strains were screened for fungicides (carbendazim and tebuconazole, thiram and mancozeb) and abiotic stress (drought and salt) tolerance. Results indicated that T. koningii MTCC 796 efficiently grew better than the other strains with maximum radial growth under adverse conditions. The genetic variability among the Trichoderma was determined using 34 gene specific markers which amplified 146 alleles. The SSR similarities explained substantial diversity (15 to 87%) across Trichoderma strains and pathogen S. rolfsii. Principal coordinates analysis (PCA) were comparable to the cluster analysis and first three most informative PC components explained 64.45% of the total variation. In PCA, potent antagonists appear to be distinct from other strains. Five SSR markers T1F/T1R(311), TvCTT56f/TvCTT56r(387), TvGAT18f/TvGAT18r(364), TvCA39f/TvCA39r(196) and TvAG29f/TvAG29r(418) found to be unique to distinguish best antagonist strain Tvs12. However, MTCC 796 was examined most stress tolerant strain with better inhibition coefficient which might be useful to control the disease under adverse conditions or as a part of integrated pest management.