Biological control of damping-off of tomato caused by Pythium aphanidermatum by using native antagonistic rhizobacteria isolated from Omani soil

  • Hanan S. Al-Hussini
  • Amna Y. Al-Rawahi
  • Abdullah A. Al-Marhoon
  • Shurooq A. Al-Abri
  • Issa H. Al-Mahmooli
  • Abdullah M. Al-Sadi
  • Rethinasamy VelazhahanEmail author
Original Article


The potential of antagonistic bacteria isolated from tomato rhizosphere soils of Oman in the control of damping-off disease of tomato was investigated. A total of 27 bacterial isolates were isolated from 18 soil samples collected from the rhizosphere of tomato from Al-Batinah South, Al-Sharqia North and Muscat Governorate. These bacterial isolates were tested in vitro for their antagonistic activity against Pythium aphanidermatum using a dual culture technique. Of the 27 bacterial isolates tested, four isolates designated D1/3, D1/8, D1/17 and D1/18 were effective in inhibiting the mycelial growth of P. aphanidermatum, by inducing an inhibition zone of 32.3, 10.3, 6.3 and 9.9 mm, respectively. Compatibility tests using a cross-streak assay on nutrient agar medium indicated that these four bacterial isolates were compatible with one another. The bacterial isolates were identified as Klebsiella oxytoca (D1/3), Exiguobacterium indicum (D1/8) and Bacillus cereus (D1/17 and D1/18), on the basis of the rRNA gene sequences. Among the isolates tested for in vitro plant growth promoting activity, D1/8 induced the maximum shoot length and seedling vigor. The potential of bacterial antagonists either individually or in combination in the control of damping-off disease of tomato was tested under greenhouse conditions. Among the biocontrol treatments, the combined application of D1/8 and D1/17 was the most effective, where damping-off incidence was reduced by 27% relative to the infected control. These bacterial antagonists appear to be potential candidates to be developed as bio-inoculants for the ecofriendly management of damping-off of tomato under desert farming ecosystem.


Biocontrol Bacillus cereus Exiguobacterium indicum Lycopersicon esculentum Damping-off 



This study was supported in part by a grant (IG/AGR/DEAN/17/01) from Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman. We thank the Central Analytical and Applied Research Unit, Sultan Qaboos University for nucleic acid sequencing.


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Copyright information

© Società Italiana di Patologia Vegetale (S.I.Pa.V.) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hanan S. Al-Hussini
    • 1
  • Amna Y. Al-Rawahi
    • 1
  • Abdullah A. Al-Marhoon
    • 1
  • Shurooq A. Al-Abri
    • 1
  • Issa H. Al-Mahmooli
    • 1
  • Abdullah M. Al-Sadi
    • 1
  • Rethinasamy Velazhahan
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Crop Sciences, College of Agricultural and Marine SciencesSultan Qaboos UniversityMuscat 123Sultanate of Oman

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