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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 397142, 7 pages
Research Article

Potential of Chitinolytic Serratia marcescens Strain JPP1 for Biological Control of Aspergillus parasiticus and Aflatoxin

School of Marine Science and Technology, Harbin Institute of Technology, Weihai 264209, China

Received 26 April 2013; Revised 8 June 2013; Accepted 9 June 2013

Academic Editor: Sudhir Sopory

Copyright © 2013 Kai Wang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Serratia marcescens strain JPP1 was isolated from peanut hulls in Huai'an city, Jiangsu Province, China. Its potential to inhibit the mycelial growth of Aspergillus parasiticus and the subsequent aflatoxin production was evaluated. The strain JPP1 could produce chitinase to degrade fungal cell walls, which was the main mechanism of strain JPP1 for biocontrol. Scanning electron microscopy of fungi treated with the crude chitinase revealed abnormal morphological changes. While the strain was grown in the peanut hulls-based medium, the chitinase activity reached 7.39 units. RT-PCR analysis showed that the crude chitinase repressed the transcription of genes involved in the aflatoxin gene cluster, such as aflR, aflC (pksL1), and aflO (dmtA) genes. By visual agar plate assay and tip culture method, the strain JPP1 exhibited remarkable inhibitory effect on mycelia growth (antifungal ratio >95%) and subsequent aflatoxin production (antiaflatoxigenic ratio >98%). An in vitro assay with seed coating agent of bacterial suspension showed that strain JPP1 effectively reduced fungal growth and subsequent aflatoxin production on peanut seeds, and its antagonistic effect was superior to the common agricultural fungicide of carbendazim. These characteristics suggest that S. marcescens JPP1 strain could potentially be utilized for the biological control of phytopathogenic fungi and aflatoxin in Chinese peanut main producing areas.