Legume Research

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Legume Research, volume 46 issue 6 (june 2023) : 806-809

Antifungal Properties of Selected Seaweed and Seagrass Extracts against Macrophomina phaseolina Infecting Pigeon Pea

G. Somasundaram1, R. Paramasivam2, H.A. Archana3, K. Sujatha4, S. Ambika3,*
1Department of Seed Science and Technology, Indian Institute of Oil Palm Research, Research Centre, Palode-695 562, Kerala, India.
2Department of Agricultural Economics, Kumaraguru Institute of Agriculture, Erode-638 001, Tamil Nadu, India. 
3Department of Agronomy, Sri Ramaswami Memorial University, College of Agricultural Sciences, Chengalpattu-603 001, Tamil Nadu, India. 
4Department of Seed Science and Technology, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University Madurai, Agricultural College and Research Institute, Madurai-625 104, Tamil Nadu, India.
  • Submitted14-07-2022|

  • Accepted06-04-2023|

  • First Online 13-05-2023|

  • doi 10.18805/LR-5008

Cite article:- Somasundaram G., Paramasivam R., Archana H.A., Sujatha K., Ambika S. (2023). Antifungal Properties of Selected Seaweed and Seagrass Extracts against Macrophomina phaseolina Infecting Pigeon Pea . Legume Research. 46(6): 806-809. doi: 10.18805/LR-5008.
A study was conducted to evaluate in vitro efficacy of seaweed (Sargassum myriocystum and Sargassum wightii) and seagrass (Cymodocea serrulata and Syringodium isoetifolium) extract against the mycelial growth of Macrophomina phaseolina at different concentrations of 5, 10, 15 and 20% along with control by poison food technique. The result revealed that, the extract of S. wightii (20%) exhibited the highest suppression of mycelial growth (10, 25 and 38 mm) at 24, 48 and 72 h after incubation. Among the antagonists tested against Macrophomina phaseolina, the fungal Trichoderma viride was found to be the most effective in reducing mycelial growth than the bacterial antagonist Pseudomonas fluorescens. Both the antagonistic fungi and bacteria have compatibility with seaweed and seagrass extracts in the concentrations.
Pigeonpea (Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp.) is one of the major grain legume crops of the tropics and subtropics and accounts for about 5% of the world’s legume production.  The pigeonpeas are rich in protein. Soil- borne diseases are important in pulses causing heavy losses in seed yield. Macrophomina phaseolina (Tassi) Goid., a soil-inhibiting fungus is an important root pathogen and causes dry root rot/stem canker, stalk rot, or charcoal rot of over 400 plant species including pigeonpea (Mahrshi, 1986). Macrophomina phaseolina has been recently reported as an emerging phytopathogen (Kaur et al., 2012). The disease development is favoured by high temperature (30-35°C) followed by moisture stress (Amrit et al., 1999) and a good source of inoculum (Lodha, 1998). This is a serious problem in late sown or summer crops and in perennial or ratooned pigeonpea. The pathogen poses a greater problem in cultivation and causes considerable loss (Bajpal et al., 1999). There is growing concern that environmental pollution caused by imbalanced use and misuse of chemical fertilizers and pesticides is directly or indirectly related to human health problems. Consequently, farmers in developed countries began to shift from chemical-based conventional farming methods towards organic, alternative or low-input, sustainable agriculture (Bhatia, 2002). The seaweed concentrates are applied to crops as root dips, soil drenches or foliar sprays. Seaweed concentrates are effective biostimulants in many crops including vegetables, trees, flowering plants and grain crops (Stirk et al., 2004). Compounds extracted from different macroalgae (seaweed and seagrass) families like green, brown and red algae (Vallinayagam et al., 2009) were confirmed earlier for their antifungal activity (Khanzada et al., 2007; Bhosale et al., 2002). Extracts of the brown algae Ascophyllum nodosum applied as a soil drench and foliar sprays have been shown to improve growth rates and reduce pests, consequently increasing crop yields, as well as the overall quality of the product (Blunden et al., 1997). The present investigation was undertaken to evaluate different seaweed and seagrass extracts for their antifungal activity against Macrophomina phaseolina in red gram and compatibility with antagonistic bacteria and fungi.
The pathogen, Macrophomina phaseolina, was isolated from the diseased tissues of red gram by tissue segment method (Rangaswami, 1958). Seaweeds and sea grasses were collected from the Mandapam coast, Tamil Nadu. After washing of seaweeds and seagrasses with water they were shade dried for 2 weeks followed by oven drying at 40°C for 24 h and powdered. A total quantity of 150 ml of alcohol was added to 20 g powder and kept overnight with intermittent stirring and extracted through a rotary evaporator at 40°C and 45 rpm. The extract was collected and stored in an airtight container. The different concentrations of 5, 10, 15 and 20% were prepared. A Poisoned food technique (Schmitz, 1930) was employed to screen the antifungal efficacy of seaweed extracts. Radial growth was calculated (Reeslev and Kjoller, 1995) and inhibition percentage was calculated (Harlapur et al., 2007). Finally, compatibility between antagonistic bacteria, fungi and seaweed extracts were tested. The data from various experiments were analyzed statistically adopting the procedure described by Panse and Sukhatme (1985). Wherever necessary, the percentage values were transformed to arc sine values before carrying out the statistical analysis.
Results indicated that a 20% concentration of all seaweeds and sea grasses showed better performance in general. Significant differences were observed in the seaweed extract of S. wightii (20%) compared to seagrass and S. myriocystum. Mycelia growth of Macrophomina phaseolina was lowest in S. wightii (20%) (10, 25 and 38 mm after 24, 48 and 72 h) mm followed by S. myriocystum (20%) with 20, 28 and 45 mm whereas control recorded the highest mycelial growth of 30, 71 and 90.0 mm after 24, 48 and 72 h respectively (Table 1). The inhibition over control was also highest (63%) for S. wightii (20%) followed by in 20% for S. myriocystum (56%). The bacterial (P.  fluorescens) and fungal antagonist (T.viride) were found to be compatible with seaweed and sea grass extracts. The presence of growth was not affected by the extracts (Table 2; Fig 1). The compatibility test shows that the seaweed and seagrass extracts can be applied to the plants in combination with biocontrol agents. Bacterial strains of P. flourescens, P. putida and P. aeruginosa have been reported as effective bio-control agents of various soil fungi (Validov et al., 2005). The use of antagonistic organisms against Macrophomina root rot has been well-documented in several crops (Raguchander et al., 1998). Cotton seeds soaked in seaweed solution (1:500 Sargassum wightii for 12 h) provided considerable resistance to seedlings against Xanthomonas campestris (Raghavendra et al., 2007). In carrot application of SLF (seaweed liquid fertilizer) enhanced the activities of chitinase, B-1-3 flucanase, polyphenol oxidase and lipoxynase which are factors regulating plant disease. Similar results were found in cucumber which showed enhanced activities of various defense-related enzymes including chitinase, B-1, 3-glucanase, peroxidase, polyphenol oxidase, phenylalanine ammonia lyase and lipoxygenase due to SLF application (Jayaraman et al., 2011). The commercial extract from the brown seaweed Ascophyllum nodosum was found to reduce fungal diseases in cucumbers (Jayaramanet al., 2011). Brown algae have shown effectiveness in controlling plant diseases. The laminarin polysaccharide isolated from Laminaria digitata is able to elicit host defense responses in plants (Klarzynski et al., 2000). Brown seaweeds contain high amounts of flavonoid and phenolic compounds could be the reason for antifungal activity (Cowan et al., 1999). Seaweed could also affect cell metabolism through the induction of the synthesis of antioxidant molecules which could favor plant growth and plant resistance to stress (Zhang and Schmidt, 2000).

Table 1: Efficacy of seaweed extracts on mycelial growth (mm) of Macrophomina phaseolina in vitro and compatibility of seaweed extracts with antagonistic fungi and bacteria.

Table 2: Efficacy of seaweed extracts on Inhibition over control (%) of Macrophomina phaseolina in vitro and compatibility of seaweed extracts with antagonistic fungi and bacteria.

Fig 1: Effect of seaweed extracts against the mycelial growth of Macrophomina phaseolina in vitro condition.

Seaweed, Sargassum wightii, extract at 20% concentration could effectively control the mycelial growth of Macrophomina phaseolina infecting red gram.

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