Antifungal activities of two Lactobacillus plantarum strains against Fusarium moulds in vitro and in malting of barley

Arja Laitila (Corresponding Author), Hanna-Leena Alakomi, Laura Raaska, Tiina Mattila-Sandholm, Auli Haikara

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    131 Citations (Scopus)


    Aims: The Lactobacillus plantarum strains VTT E‐78076 (E76) and VTT E‐79098 (E98) were studied for their antifungal potential against Fusarium species.
    Methods and Results:In vitro screening with automated turbidometry as well as direct and indirect impedimetric methods clearly showed Lact. plantarum cell‐free extracts to be effective against Fusarium species including Fusarium avenaceum, F. culmorum, F. graminearum and F.oxysporum. However, great variation in growth inhibition was observed between different Fusarium species and even between strains. The antifungal potential of Lact. plantarum E76 culture, including cells and spent medium, was also examined in laboratory‐scale malting with naturally contaminated two‐rowed barley from the crops of 1990–96. The growth of the indigenous Fusarium flora was restricted by the addition of Lact. plantarum E76 to the steeping water. However, the antifungal effect was greatly dependent on the contamination level and the fungal species/strains present on barley in different years.
    Conclusions:Lactobacillus plantarum strains E76 and E98 had a fungistatic effect against different plant pathogenic, toxigenic and gushing‐active Fusarium fungi.
    Significance and Impact of the Study: The present study indicates that Lact. plantarum strains with known and selected characteristics could be used as a natural, food‐grade biocontrol agent for management of problems caused by Fusarium fungi during germination of cereals.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)566-576
    JournalJournal of Applied Microbiology
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2002
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • Lactobacillus plantarum
    • Lactobacillus
    • Fusarium
    • fungi
    • cereals
    • biocontrol


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