Optimization of water dispersible granules containing biocontrol bacteria and stress alleviation on cotton

Shouyan Han1, Chongdie Wu1, Yongbin Fan2, Jianwei Cao3, and Aiying Wang1*
Cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) is economically important in Xinjiang, China, for many years; Verticillium wilt, arid climate, and soil salinization reduce cotton production, which has inhibited development of the cotton economy. Thus, creating a microbial agent specifically for cotton to resisting environmental stress is crucial. In this study, water dispersible granules strains (Bacillus tequilensis C-9 and B. sphingosporium A1) were screened for antagonistic bacteria of Verticillium dahliae from the rhizosphere soil of Ferula sinkiangensis K.M. Shen, and screened for carrier and auxiliary that could enhance the survival of strains A1+C-9. To test the efficacy and practicality of the water dispersible granules, their growth-promoting effect was examined. Meanwhile, bursts of reactive oxygen species and changes in the physiological indicators related to cotton growth were detected after the application of these granules to cotton that had been subjected to biotic and abiotic stresses to study the ability of the water dispersible granules to induce immunity in cotton. It was found that the treated group could increase the above-ground and below-ground fresh weight of cotton by 20.06% and 22.71% relative to the control group, and the biocontrol effect on cotton was increased by 46.55%. In salt and drought stress, catalase activity could be increased by 14.61% and 15.52%, respectively, relative to the control group. Comprehensive analyses showed that the application of water dispersible granules that contained A1+C-9 helped the cotton to grow and develop, inhibited V. dahliae from infecting cotton plants, reduced the damage from drought and salt stress, and increased the resilience of cotton to stress.
Keywords: Abiotic stress, biotic stress, cotton, Verticillium wilt, water dispersible granules.
1Shihezi University, College of Life Sciences, Shihezi City, Xinjiang, China.
2Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps Key Laboratory of Oasis Town and Mountain-basin System Ecology, Shihezi City, Xinjiang, China.
*Corresponding author (way-sh@126.com).