Genomic analysis reveals genes that encode the synthesis of volatile compounds by a Bacillus velezensis-based biofungicide used in the treatment of grapes to control Aspergillus carbonarius


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Fungal control strategies based on the use of Bacillus have emerged in agriculture as eco-friendly alternatives to replace/reduce the use of synthetic pesticides. Bacillus sp. P1 was reported as a new promising strain for control of Aspergillus carbonarius, a known producer of ochratoxin A, categorized as possible human carcinogen with high nephrotoxic potential. Grape quality can be influenced by vineyard management practices, including the use of fungal control agents. The aim of this study was to evaluate, for the first time, the quality parameters of Chardonnay grapes exposed to an antifungal Bacillus-based strategy for control of A. carbonarius, supporting findings by genomic investigations. Furthermore, genomic tools were used to confirm that the strain P1 belongs to the non-pathogenic species Bacillus velezensis and also to certify its biosafety. The genome of B. velezensis P1 harbors genes that are putatively involved in the production of volatiles and hydrolytic enzymes, which are responsible for releasing the free form of aroma compounds. In addition to promote biocontrol of phytopathogenic fungi and ochratoxins, the treatment with B. velezensis P1 did not change the texture (hardness and firmness), color and pH of the grapes. Heat map and hierarchical clustering analysis (HCA) of volatiles evaluated by GC/MS revealed that Bacillus-treated grapes showed higher levels of compounds with a pleasant odor descriptions such as 3-hydroxy-2-butanone, 2,3-butanediol, 3-methyl-1-butanol, 3,4-dihydro-beta-ionone, beta-ionone, dihydroactinidiolide, linalool oxide, and beta-terpineol. The results of this study indicate that B. velezensis P1 presents desirable properties to be used as a biocontrol agent.
Volatile profile,Aroma,Genome,Fungal control,Antifungal
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