Extracts from Environmental Strains of Pseudomonas spp. Effectively Control Fungal Plant Diseases

Valentina Librizzi, Antonino Malacrinò, Maria Giulia Li Destri Nicosia, Nataly Barger, Tal Luzzatto-Knaan, Sonia Pangallo, Giovanni E. Agosteo, Leonardo Schena

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The use of synthetic chemical products in agriculture is causing severe damage to the environment and human health, but agrochemicals are still widely used to protect our crops. To counteract this trend, we have been looking for alternative strategies to control plant diseases without causing harm to the environment or damage to our health. However, these alternatives are still far from completely replacing chemical products. Microorganisms have been widely known as a biological tool to control plant diseases, but their use is still limited due to the high variability in their efficacy, together with issues in product registration. However, the metabolites produced by these microorganisms can represent a novel tool for the environment-friendly management of plant diseases, while reducing the issues mentioned above. In this study, we explore the soil microbial diversity in natural systems to look for microorganisms with the potential to be used in pre-and postharvest protection against fungal plant pathogens. Using a simple workflow, we isolated 22 bacterial strains that were tested both in vitro and in vivo for their ability to counteract the growth of common plant pathogens. The three best isolates, identified as members of the bacterial genus Pseudomonas, were used to produce a series of alcoholic extracts, which were then tested for their action against plant pathogens in simulated real-world applications. Results show that extracts from these isolates have an exceptional biocontrol activity and can be successfully used to control plant pathogens in operational setups. Thus, this study shows that the environmental microbiome is an important source of microorganisms producing metabolites that might provide an alternative strategy to synthetic chemical products.

Original languageEnglish
Article number436
Issue number3
StatePublished - 5 Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This research was funded by The Italian Ministry of Education, University, and Research (MIUR) with “PON Ricerca e competitività 2007–2013”: (i) “Modelli sostenibili e nuove tecnologie per la valorizzazione delle olive e dell’olio extravergine di oliva prodotto in Calabria (PON03PE_00090_02); and (ii) Modelli sostenibili e nuove tecnologie per la valorizzazione delle filiere vegetali mediterranee (PON03PE_00090_03).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Alternaria
  • Botrytis
  • Colletotrichum
  • Monilinia
  • Penicillium
  • Post-harvest diseases

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Plant Science


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