Yeasts are distributed in all environments and have been reported as potential biocontrol agents against various phytopathogenic fungi. To investigate their enzymatic and biological activities, 32 yeasts were isolated from 15 date vinegar samples. Evaluation of the antagonistic activities of isolated yeasts against the plant pathogens Fusarium oxysporium, Sclerotinia sclerotiorum, and Macrophomina phaseolina indicated that there are two yeasts had the highest inhibitory effect against plant pathogens, these yeasts identified as Kluyveromyces marxianus and Torulaspora delbrueckii using traditional and molecular methods. These yeast isolates were tested for fungal cell wall degrading enzymes (in vitro), and results indicated that the yeasts had strong protease and amylase enzyme activity and moderate chitinase and cellulase enzyme activity. The antagonistic activities of each yeast were evaluated using a dual culture technique. The results showed that K. marxianus inhibited the mycelial growth of F. oxysporium, S. sclerotiorum, and M. phaseolina by 70.5, 57.5, and 75.5%, respectively, whereas T. delbrueckii inhibited mycelial growth of F. oxysporum, S. sclerotiorum, and M. phaseolina by 55.3%, 66.2%, and 31.11%, respectively. The biofilm production assay indicated that the tested yeast could form biofilms as a mechanism of antagonistic activity against phytopathogenic fungi.
Biocontrol, Torulaspora delbrueckii, Kluyveromyces marxianus, Phytopathogenic fungi, Date Vinegar
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