Biocontrol of dry bubble disease (2020-2024)
Biocontrol of mushroom pathogens by Bacillus subtilis and genomic interactions between host, pathogen and biocontrol agent.
The aim of this project is to characterise the complex biological interactions within the mushroom cropping environment between the edible mushroom, A. bisporus, a devastating pathogen affecting it, Lecanicillium fungicola (which causes dry bubble disease) and a biological control agent based on the bacterium Bacillus subtilis.
Fig 1. Lecanicillium sp.
This project will investigate the ability of a B. subtilis biocontrol agent to inhibit the growth of L. fungicola and to stimulate the defences of the mushroom.
Antifunga/defence type interactions between L.fungicola/A.bisporus/B. subtilis will be characterised by analysing the proteins that are produced following gene transcription. The efficacy of a B. subtilis-based commercial biocontrol agent, to control L. fungicola over a range of disease pressures will be evaluated at crop scale.
The population dynamics of B. subtilis in mushroom casing will be characterised over time to determine its growth and persistence. The results from this project will help inform and optimise biocontrol of fungal pathogens and provide information to underpin the adoption of IPM strategies for disease