Authors : B. M. Sandikar
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Among ‘150’ Bacillus isolates obtained from rhizosphere of healthy crop plants, eight isolates showing potent antifungal activity (percent growth inhibition >50%) against the phytopathogenic Fusarium and Pythium species were selected by dual culture (Co-culture) method, using PDA and PDB. These antifungal isolates were identified on the basis of morphological, cultural and biochemical characters as well as 16S r-RNA gene sequencing as Bacillus thuringiensis184, B. subtilis208, B. thuringiensis211, B. cereus220, B. cereus228, B. subtilis252, B. subtilis260 and B. subtilis288 and used to prepare biocontrol formulations with dried fecal pellets of sheep and goats. These Bacillus isolates were also studied for phosphate solubilization and cellulose degradation abilities using Pikovskaya (PVK) agar and Carboxyl methyl cellulose (CMC)- Peptone medium, respectively. Among the eight isolates, three isolates i.e. Bacillus subtilis208, B. cereus220 and B. subtilis252 were showed good phosphate solubilization ability whereas only B. subtilis252 showed considerable cellulase activity. We conclude that, application of these three isolates in soil will be significant not only as biological control agents of fungal diseases but also as plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) to increase soil fertility, especially with respect to phosphate solubilization and cellulose mineralization.