, Volume 64, Issue 5, pp 595–604 | Cite as

Biocontrol of Phytophthora root and stem rot disease in papaya (Carica papaya) plants by Photorhabdus, the symbiont bacterium of Heterorhabditis amazonensis

  • Daniele Palmieri
  • Edgar Portillo
  • Yoelvis Sulbarán
  • Mayamarú Guerra
  • Ernesto San-BlasEmail author


The effect of two strains of Photorhabdus spp. from Heterorhabditis amazonensis and their metabolites was tested against Phytophthora in laboratory conditions and in planta using papaya plants. The in vitro experiments showed that both Photorhabdus strains (LPV-499 and LPV-900) have a clear antagonist effect on Phytophthora sp. by suppressing the pathogen growth in more than 62% at 120 h. The bacterial broth was more effective (c.a. 20% better) than the cell free cultures (metabolites) in controlling the oomycete. In planta experiments revealed the biological control potential of both Photorhabdus strains. The most important feature was time of application after pathogen inoculation. During the first two weeks post-infection, bacteria were capable to reduce the pathogenic effect in such a scale that plants recovered up to 89% by curing the necrosis produced in the wounds where the inoculation of the oomycete was done. The number of collapsed stems was reduced to none when the bacteria were applied within the first week post pathogen infection. Agronomic variables such as plant height, fresh and dry weight of stems and roots showed no statistical differences when the curative treatment was applied in the first week post-infection.


Biological control Oomycete Nursery Phytopathology Tropical fruits 



This work was done thanks to the regular budget of the Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Research.


Regular budget of the Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Research.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that there is no conflict of interest in this work.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© International Organization for Biological Control (IOBC) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratorio de Protección Vegetal, Centro de Estudios Botánicos y AgroforestalesInstituto Venezolano de Investigaciones CientíficasMaracaiboVenezuela
  2. 2.Facultad de Ciencias BásicasUniversidad Tecnológica de BolívarCartagena de IndiasColombia

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