Effects of Endophytic Bacillus Subtilis and Salicylic Acid on Postharvest Diseases (Phytophthora infestans, Fusarium oxysporum) Development in Stored Potato Tubers
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Postharvest diseases of potato lead to significant food and economic losses worldwide. The exogenous application of eco-friendly methods plays an important role in the control of postharvest decay. In this work the effects of endophytic bacteria B. subtilis (10-4, 26D) were studied in the context of two application parameters: concentration, with a range between 10(3)-10(8) CFU/mL tested, and synergistic effects of the signal molecule salicylic acid (SA) (0.05 mM) on potato tubers' resistance to Phytophthora infestans and Fusarium oxysporum during storage. The experiments were carried out on hydroponically grown potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) mini-tubers. This study demonstrates the suppressive effect of B. subtilis (10-4, 26D) on diseases of potato during storage and reveals that this effect happens in a dose-dependent manner, both individually and in combination with SA. The most effective concentrations of B. subtilis for suppression of both Ph.infestans and F. oxysporum are 10(8) CFU/mL (10-4 and 26D), 10(7) CFU/mL (10-4 + SA) and 10(6) CFU/mL (26D + SA). The ability of B. subtilis (10-4, 26D) to effectively penetrate and colonize the internal tubers' tissues when applied immediately prior to storage, and the ability of SA to accelerate these processes, have been proven. B. subtilis (10-4, 26D), individually and in compositions with SA, increased ascorbic acid content and decreased pathogen-induced proline accumulation and lipid peroxidation in tubers. This indicates a protective effect conferred to cells against reactive oxygen and an extension of aging processes, manifested by a prolonged shelf life and extended preservation of fresh appearance.