Identification of Epiphytic Yeasts and Bacteria with Potential for Biocontrol of Grey Mold Disease on Table Grapes Caused by Botrytis cinerea
The objective of this study was to identify grapevine epiphytic yeasts and bacteria for biocontrol of Botrytis cinerea on grapes. Antagonistic yeasts and bacteria were isolated from the epiphytic flora associated with grape berries and leaves cv. ‘Thompson seedless’ from vineyards in Iran and identified by sequencing the conserved genomic regions. A total of 130 yeast and bacterial isolates from the surface of grapevine were screened in vitro for determining their antagonistic effect against B. cinerea and used to control postharvest gray mold. Among the 130 isolates, five yeasts and four bacterial isolates showed the greatest antagonistic activity in vitro against B. cinerea. Two yeasts species including Meyerozyma guilliermondii and Candida membranifaciens had high antagonistic capability against the pathogen. Also, 4 bacterial isolates belonging to Bacillus sp. and Ralstonia sp. showed significant biocontrol effect against B. cinerea. The isolates were capable of producing volatile and non-volatile substances, which suppressed the pathogen growth. The antagonistic activity of selected yeasts and bacteria against the pathogen was investigated on wounded berries of ‘Thompson seedless’. On small clusters with intact berries, all of the antagonistic isolates considerably reduced the decay on grape berries and inhibition of gray mold incidence on fruits treated by these isolates was less than 50%, except for the isolate N1, which had higher capability in inhibiting the disease incidence. These results suggest that antagonist yeasts and bacteria with potential to control B. cinerea on grape can be found in the microflora of grape berries and leaves.