Penicillium citrinum VFI-51 as biocontrol agent to control charcoal rot of sorghum (Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench)
In our earlier investigation, a fungal isolate Penicillium citrinum VFI-51 and its secondary metabolite was reported to have antagonistic potential against Botrytis cinerea, the causative agent of Botrytis gray mold disease in chickpea. In the present investigation, P. citrinum VFI-51 was further evaluated for its antagonistic potential against Macrophomina phaseolina, the causative agent of charcoal rot in sorghum. P. citrinum VFI-51 inhibited M. phaseolina in both dual culture as well as secondary metabolite production assays. In the in vivo blotter paper assay, under light chamber conditions, P. citrinum VFI-51 controlled 85% of the charcoal rot disease on the roots when compared to the positive control. Under greenhouse conditions, when M. phaseolina was inoculated by tooth pick method in to the stalk of sorghum plant, the charcoal rot disease was controlled by 75% in P. citrinum VFI-51 treatment over the positive control. This study demonstrates the biocontrol potential of P. citrinum VFI-51 against charcoal rot of sorghum.