Volatiles produced by Streptomyces spp. delay rot in apples caused by Colletotrichum acutatum

Curr Res Microb Sci. 2022 Feb 21;3:100121. doi: 10.1016/j.crmicr.2022.100121. eCollection 2022.


Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) produced by microorganisms may prevent postharvest rot in fruits. Here, it was examined if VOCs from different species of Streptomyces can control infection in apples caused by the fungal pathogen Colletotrichum acutatum. Incubation of C. acutatum-infected apples in semi-closed boxes with actively growing strains of three Streptomyces (S. coelicolor, S. diastatochromogenes and Streptomyces strain 2R) showed that VOCs reduced rot areas of the apples by 45-66% after 8 days and 39-57% after 10 days, relative to infected apples incubated without Streptomyces. No differences in inhibition among the three strains were seen. In contrast, a mutant strain of Streptomyces that lacks major genes involved in biosynthesis of secondary metabolites, did not reduce development of rot in the apples. Furthermore, Streptomyces VOCs reduced radial hyphal growth of C. acutatum on agar. Several of the VOCs produced by three Streptomyces strains have previously shown fungicidal properties. Although the specific VOCs being active in inhibition of C. acutatum remain to be determined, VOCs may have a great potential as biofumigants to minimize postharvest diseases in fruits.

Keywords: Apple rot; Colletotrichum acutatum; Inhibition of rot; Streptomyces; Volatile organic compounds.