keywords: Antibacterial activity, antifungal activity, maize, rhizobacteria. Phytopathogens
Plant diseases at every occurrence can lead to reduction in crop yield and quality. Hence there is always a need for urgent control measures preferably biological methods of control. In this study, five bacterial strains were isolated from the rhizosphere of maize (Zea mays) plant in a farmland in Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State and characterized phenotypically using morphological and biochemical methods. The isolates were screened for their antibacterial and antifungal activities against selected bacterial phytopathogens; Bacillus subtilis, Xanthomonas axonopodis, Erwinia carotovora and Pseudomonas avenae and fungal phytopathogens; Aspergillus parasiticus, Ustilago maydis, Rhizoctonia solani, Fusarium verticilliodes and Aspergillus flavus. Results showed that Bacillus. megaterium and Staphylococcus. aureus were able to inhibit the growth of A. flavus, F. verticilliodes and R. solani but could not suppress the growth of A. parasiticus. Proteus vulgaris was unable to inhibit the growth of any of the tests organisms. B. megaterium, B. subtilis and B. cereus were able to inhibit the growth of E. carotovora, P. avenae and X. axonopodis while S. aureus could only suppress the growth of P. avenae. This study showed that isolates belonging to the genus Bacillus have potentials as biological agents against the selected phytopathogens. It is recommended that a consortium should be developed from these bacteria as a biological control agent against the pathogens.