DIVERSITY OF SOIL MICROORGANISMS ASSOCIATED WITH PHILIPPINE BANANA CULTIVARS FREE OF FUSARIUM WILTANNABELLE U. NOVERO, EDWIN GERSOMANGELO H. ALCANTARA, ADZHAREE A. BLAH, JOHN OSCAR S. ENRIQUEZ, JHERICX V. GAPATE, MARIA CATHERINE T. HAPITAN, RHODA MAE B. PABLEO, JUNALDO A. MANTIQUILLA AND ALEYLA E. DE CADIZ
Banana (Musa sp.) is one of the most important fruit crops grown in the Philippines. The most common local cultivars are lakatan, latundan and saba. This study assessed the bacterial and fungal species present in the soil environment of local banana cultivars free of Fusarium wilt. Microorganisms present in the soil environment are indicators of soil health which is one of the factors that affect successful banana production. Soil samples were collected from Tacunan, Davao City where the three local banana cultivars are grown. Bacteria were isolated and identified using morphological and biochemical tests as well as 16SrDNA analyses. Several species of the genera Bacillus and Pseudomonas were found in lakatan, latundan and saba rhizospheres. Acinetobacter baumannii was found associated with lakatan whereas Achromobacter denitrificans was identified in latundan. Based on published literature, Bacillus and Pseudomonas possess biological control activities. Fungal isolates were characterized and identified using morphological parameters and growth habits. The genera Aspergillus, Penicillium and Trichoderma were found associated with lakatan and latundan. These are potential biological control agents against Fusarium, an important pathogen of banana. The bioactivity of bacterial and fungal isolates from this study will be further ascertained for potential use as biological control agents against banana diseases such as Fusarium wilt.
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