Bacillus firmus I-1582 promotes plant growth and impairs infection and development of the cyst nematode Heterodera schachtii over two generations

Sci Rep. 2021 Jul 8;11(1):14114. doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-93567-0.


Plant-parasitic nematodes wreak havoc on crops by root parasitism worldwide. An approach to combat nematode root parasitism is the application of antagonistic microbes like the rhizobacterium Bacillus firmus I-1582 which is promoted as biological control agent. Although B. firmus is a known nematode antagonist in general, the underlying mechanisms about its interaction with nematodes and plants have not yet been elucidated. Therefore, we explored the influence of B. firmus I-1582 as well as its extracellular and secreted molecules on plant-nematode interaction utilizing the plant-pathogen system Arabidopsis thaliana-Heterodera schachtii. We demonstrated that B. firmus I-1582 is attracted by A. thaliana root exudates, particularly by those of young plants. The bacterium colonized the root and showed a strictly pH-dependent development and plant growth promotion effect. Our results revealed that root colonization by B. firmus I-1582 significantly protected A. thaliana from infestation by the beet cyst nematode whereas dead bacterial cells or the culture supernatant were not effective. The bacterium also negatively affected nematode reproduction as well as pathogenicity and development of next generation nematodes. The obtained results highlight B. firmus I-1582 as a promising biocontrol agent that is well suited as an element of integrated control management strategies in sustainable agriculture.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arabidopsis / growth & development*
  • Arabidopsis / parasitology*
  • Bacillus firmus / physiology*
  • Chemotaxis
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Plant Development*
  • Plant Diseases / parasitology*
  • Plant Exudates
  • Plant Roots / parasitology
  • Tylenchoidea / pathogenicity
  • Tylenchoidea / physiology*
  • Virulence


  • Plant Exudates