American Journal of Agricultural and Biological Sciences

Identification of Volatile Metabolites from Fungal Endophytes with Biocontrol Potential towards Fusarium oxysporum F. sp. cubense Race 4

A.S.Y. Ting, S.W. Mah and C.S. Tee

DOI : 10.3844/ajabssp.2010.177.182

American Journal of Agricultural and Biological Sciences

Volume 5, Issue 2

Pages 177-182


Problem statement: Fungal endophytes are widely studied for their potential as biocontrol agents towards fungal pathogens. In vitro assessments usually reveal their antibiosis and mycoparasitism nature, but little is understood regarding their production of volatile metabolites as mechanisms of antagonism. Approach: This study explored the potential of fungal endophytes in controlling the pathogen responsible for Fusarium wilt disease. Nine fungal endophytes were tested for their ability to inhibit the growth of the pathogenic Fusarium oxysporum F. sp. cubense race 4 (FocR4) via production of volatile inhibitory metabolites. The type of volatile metabolites produced were subsequently characterized and identified using the Gas-Chromatography Mass-Spectrophotometry (GCMS). Results: Eight of the isolates (BTF05, BTF07, BTF08, BTF15, BTF21, WAA03, WAA02, MIF01) showed positive results with percentages of inhibition varying from 1.43-31.43% while one isolate (ALF01), showed negative result (0% inhibition). Volatile profiles showed that these fungal endophytes produced between 15-47 volatile metabolites per isolate. However, the more volatile metabolites produced by a single endophyte does not indicate better biocontrol potential. Isolate BTF05 produced 47 different volatile metabolites, but has only 8.57% inhibition, compared to isolate BTF21 with 15 metabolites but a percentage of 11.43% inhibition. The potency of the volatile metabolites produced may also influenced the biocontrol potential of the fungal endophytes as some isolates such as BTF08 and MIF01 have only two to three known inhibitory metabolites but have higher PIDG values at 31.43 and 11.43%, respectively. Contrary, isolates WAA02 and WAA03 which has five to six metabolites but PIDG values of less than 3%. Conclusion: Fungal endophytes have the ability to produce several types of volatile metabolites to inhibit the growth of FocR4. These volatile inhibitory metabolites can be further extracted and the amount produced ascertained for future manipulation in biological control of FocR4.


© 2010 A.S.Y. Ting, S.W. Mah and C.S. Tee. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.