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Recently, the use of biological control agents (BCAs) gained immense popularity in different fields of biology, especially in pathology and entomology as an alternate approach to decrease the use of synthetic chemicals, thus reducing the environmental threats potentially dangerous to humans and the environment. This study was carried out to isolate Trichoderma from farmyard manure (FYM) and rhizosphere of plants. These isolates were successfully identified macroscopically and microscopically. The biocontrol activity of these Trichoderma isolates were evaluated in vitro against pathogenic fungi (Fusarium oxysporum, Alternaria alternata) and bacteria (Pectobacterium carotovorum, Pseudomonas syringae). Biocontrol efficiency against these pathogens was performed by dual culture technique and the inhibition percentage and radial growth percentage of pathogens were calculated. In vitro results showed that Trichoderma species showed effective biocontrol activity against all tested pathogens i-e P. carotovorum, P. syringe, F. oxysporum, and A. alternata, with inhibition percentage of 91.7%, 91.7%, 80% and 75%, respectively. The least radial growth in the presence of Trichoderma isolates was shown by P. carotovorum (8.3%) and P. syringae (8.3%) followed by F. oxysporum (20%) and A. Alternata (25%). Trichoderma species played a vital role in controlling all the tested pathogens. However, their biocontrol activity against P. carotovorum and P. syringae was found to be higher than other pathogens. This study showed the potential of Trichoderma species as a biocontrol agent and it needs to be confirmed through in vivo applications in the future. This control method is safe, cheap and eco-friendly and has no hazard to human and environment.
Keywords: Biocontrol; Dual culture technique; Inhibition percentage; Trichoderma