European Journal of Plant Pathology

, Volume 136, Issue 2, pp 337–353 | Cite as

Cyanobacteria mediated plant growth promotion and bioprotection against Fusarium wilt in tomato

  • Radha Prasanna
  • Vidhi Chaudhary
  • Vishal Gupta
  • Santosh Babu
  • Arun Kumar
  • Rajendra Singh
  • Yashbir Singh Shivay
  • Lata Nain
Original Research


Cyanobacteria - phytopathogenic fungi - tomato plant interactions were evaluated for developing suitable biological options for combating biotic stress (Fusarium wilt) and enhancing plant vigour. Preliminary evaluation was undertaken on the fungicidal and hydrolytic enzyme activity of the cyanobacterial strains (Anabaena variabilis RPAN59, A. laxa RPAN8) under optimized environmental/nutritional conditions, followed by amendment in compost-vermiculite. Such formulations were tested against Fusarium wilt challenged tomato plants, and the Anabaena spp. (RPAN59/8) amended composts significantly reduced mortality in fungi challenged treatments, besides fungal load in soil. Cyanobacteria amended composts also led to an enhancement in soil organic C, nitrogen fixation, besides significant improvement in growth, yield, fruit quality parameters, N, P and Zn content. The tripartite interactions also enhanced the activity of defence and pathogenesis related enzymes in tomato plants. A positive correlation (r = 0.729 to 0.828) between P content and pathogenesis/defense enzyme activity revealed their role in enhancing the resistance of the plant through improved nutrient uptake. Light and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) revealed cyanobacterial colonization, which positively correlated with reduced fungal populations. The reduced disease severity coupled with improved plant growth/ yields, elicited by cyanobacterial treatments, illustrated the utility of such novel formulations in integrated pest and nutrient management strategies for Fusarium wilt challenged tomato crop.


Defense enzymes Disease severity Fungicidal Hydrolytic enzymes Scanning electron microscopy Compost-vermiculite formulations 



This study was supported by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR)-AMAAS Network Project on Microorganisms, New Delhi, India. We are grateful to the authorities of the Division of Microbiology, IARI, New Delhi, for providing facilities for this study. We also thank Dr. V.V. Ramamurthy and the project staff of the Network Project on Insect Biosystematics in the Division of Entomology, IARI, for assistance in the scanning electron microscopy analyses.

Supplementary material

10658_2013_167_Fig6_ESM.jpg (84 kb)
Supplementary Fig. 1

(a) Experimental set up for evaluating the formulations in tomato crop (b) Effect of cyanobacteria untreated/treated seedlings on leaf morphology of tomato seedlings (JPEG 83 kb)

10658_2013_167_MOESM1_ESM.tif (999 kb)
High resolution image (TIFF 998 kb)
10658_2013_167_Fig7_ESM.jpg (1.9 mb)
Supplementary Fig. 2

Effect of different treatments on growth of tomato plants (left-right) fungi challenged control treatment and RPAN50amended compost treated plants (JPEG 1967 kb)

10658_2013_167_MOESM2_ESM.tif (18.2 mb)
High resolution image (TIFF 18610 kb)
10658_2013_167_Fig8_ESM.jpg (101 kb)
Supplementary Fig. 3

Effect of different treatments on number of fruits per plant. The treatments include RPAN8C-T1; RPAN8O-T2; RPAN59C-T3; RPAN59O-T4; RPAN16C-T5; Bacillus subtilis-T6; Chemical (Thiram + Carbendazim)-T7; Trichoderma sp.-T8; Control-T9 (JPEG 100 kb)

10658_2013_167_MOESM3_ESM.eps (115 kb)
High resolution image (EPS 115 kb)
10658_2013_167_MOESM4_ESM.doc (104 kb)
ESM 4 (DOC 104 kb)


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Copyright information

© KNPV 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Radha Prasanna
    • 1
  • Vidhi Chaudhary
    • 1
  • Vishal Gupta
    • 1
  • Santosh Babu
    • 1
  • Arun Kumar
    • 1
  • Rajendra Singh
    • 2
  • Yashbir Singh Shivay
    • 3
  • Lata Nain
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of MicrobiologyIndian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI)New DelhiIndia
  2. 2.National Phytotron FacilityIndian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI)New DelhiIndia
  3. 3.Division of AgronomyIndian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI)New DelhiIndia

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