Enhancement of the resistance level in plants by rhizobacteria has been proven in several pathosystems. This study investigated the ability of four rhizobacteria strains (Pseudomonas putida BTP1 and Bacillus subtilis Bs2500, Bs2504 and Bs2508) to promote the growth in three barley genotypes and protect them against Cochliobolus sativus. Our results demonstrated that all tested rhizobacteria strains had a protective effect on barley genotypes Arabi Abiad, Banteng and WI2291. However, P. putida BTP1 and B. subtilis Bs2508 strains were the most effective as they reduced disease incidence by 53 and 38% (mean effect), respectively. On the other hand, there were significant differences among the rhizobacteria-treated genotypes on plant growth parameters, such as wet weight, dry weight, plant height and number of leaves. Pseudomonas putida BTP1 strain was the most effective as it significantly increased plant growth by 15-32%. In addition, the susceptible genotypes Arabi Abiad and WI2291 were the most responsive to rhizobacteria. This means that these genotypes have a high potential for increase of their resistance against the pathogen and enhancement of plant growth after the application of rhizobacteria. Consequently, barley seed treatment with the tested rhizobacteria could be considered as an effective biocontrol method against C. sativus.
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