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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Microbiol. | doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2019.01910

A novel seed-dressing formulation based on an improved mutant strain of Trichoderma virens, and its field evaluation

 Prasun K. Mukherjee1*, Sayaji T. Mehetre1, Pramod D. Sherkhane1, Gopi Muthukathan1, Ananya Ghosh2, Anil S. Kotasthane3, N Khare3, P. Rathod3, Kishan K. Sharma3, Rajib Nath2,  Anand Tewari4,  Somnath Bhattacharyya2, Meenakshi Arya5, D Pathak6, A. R Wasnikar7, R. K. S. Tiwari8 and D. R. Saxena9
  • 1Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), India
  • 2Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswavidyalaya, India
  • 3Indira Gandhi Agricultural University, India
  • 4G. B. Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, India
  • 5Rani Lakshmi Bai Central Agricultural University, India
  • 6Assam Agricultural University, India
  • 7Jawaharlal Nehru Agricultural University, India
  • 8Indira Gandhi Agricultural University, India
  • 9Rajmata Vijayaraje Scindia Krishi University, India

Using gamma-ray induced mutagenesis, we have developed a mutant (named G2) of Trichoderma virens that produced 2-3 fold excesses of secondary metabolites, including viridin, viridiol, and some yet-to-be identified compounds. Consequently, this mutant had improved antibiosis against the oomycete test pathogen Pythium aphanidermatum. A transcriptome analysis of the mutant vis-à-vis the wild type strain showed upregulation of several secondary-metabolism related genes. In addition, many genes predicted to be involved in mycoparasitism and plant-interactions were also upregulated. We used tamarind seeds as a mass multiplication medium in solid state fermentation, and using talcum powder as a carrier developed a novel seed dressing formulation. A comparative evaluation of the wild type and the mutant in green house under high disease pressure (using the test pathogen Sclerotium rolfsii) revealed superiority of the mutant over wild type in protecting chickpea (Cicer arietinum) seeds and seedlings from infection. We then undertook extensive field evaluation (replicated micro-plot trials, on-farm demonstration trials, and large scale trials in farmers’ fields) of our mutant-based formulation (named as TrichoBARC) for management of collar rot (S. rolfsii) in chickpea and lentil (Lens culinaris) over multiple locations in India. In certain experiments, other available formulations were included for comparison. This formulation consistently, over multiple locations and years, improved seed germination, reduced seedling mortality and improved plant growth and yield. We also noticed growth promotion, improved pod bearing and early flowering (7-10 days) in TrichoBARC treated chickpea and lentil plants under field conditions. In toxicological studies in animal models, this formulation exhibited no toxicity to mammals, birds or fish.

Keywords: Trichoderma, Mutation, formulation, biocontrol, Tamarind seed

Received: 30 May 2019; Accepted: 05 Aug 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Mukherjee, Mehetre, Sherkhane, Muthukathan, Ghosh, Kotasthane, Khare, Rathod, Sharma, Nath, Tewari, Bhattacharyya, Arya, Pathak, Wasnikar, Tiwari and Saxena. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Mx. Prasun K. Mukherjee, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), Mumbai, India,