Identification of Burkholderia and Penicillium isolates from kauri (Agathis australis) soils that inhibit the mycelial growth of Phytophthora agathidicida


  • Alexa-Kate Byers Bioprotection Aotearoa, New Zealand
  • Leo Condron Lincoln University, New Zealand
  • Maureen O'Callaghan AgResearch Ltd, New Zealand
  • Nick Waipara The New Zealand Institute of Plant and Food Research Ltd
  • Amanda Black Bioprotection Aotearoa, New Zealand



Phytophthora agathidicida, Burkholderia, Penicillium, In vitro bioassay, headspace solid-phase micro-extraction gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (HS SPME-GC-MS) analysis, volatile organic compounds


Phytophthora agathidicida is a highly virulent pathogen of kauri (Agathis australis) and the causal agent of dieback disease in New Zealand’s kauri forests. This study aimed to identify microbial isolates isolated from kauri forest soils that inhibited the growth of P. agathidicida. Three different forms of in vitro bioassays were used to assess the inhibition of each isolate on the mycelial growth of P. agathidicida. Furthermore, head space (HS) solid-phase micro-extraction coupled with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (SPME-GCMS) was performed to identify if the microbial isolates emitted volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which may be contributing to inhibition. This research identified several bacterial isolates belonging to the genus Burkholderia that inhibited the mycelial growth of P. agathidicida. Furthermore, several VOCs produced by these isolates were putatively identified, which may be responsible for the inhibition observed in the bioassays. Several isolates of Penicillium were identified that inhibit Phytophthora agathidicida, with the culture filtrate of one isolate being found to strongly inhibit P. agathidicida mycelial growth. These isolates of Burkholderia and Penicillium appear to exhibit multiple modes of antagonism against P. agathidicida, including microbial competition and the production of diffusible and volatile anti-microbial compounds. Although further research is needed to better define their mechanisms of inhibition, these findings have identified candidate microbial antagonists of P. agathidicida.




How to Cite

Byers, Alexa-Kate, Leo Condron, Maureen O’Callaghan, Nick Waipara, and Amanda Black. “Identification of Burkholderia and Penicillium Isolates from Kauri (Agathis Australis) Soils That Inhibit the Mycelial Growth of Phytophthora Agathidicida”. New Zealand Plant Protection 74, no. 1 (August 30, 2021): 42–54. Accessed September 24, 2023.