Panama disease caused by Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense infection on banana is devastating banana plantations worldwide. Biological control has been proposed to suppress Panama disease, though the stability and survival of bio-control microorganisms in field setting is largely unknown. In order to develop a bio-control strategy for this disease, 16S rRNA gene sequencing was used to assess the microbial community of a disease-suppressive soil. Bacillus was identified as the dominant bacterial group in the suppressive soil. For this reason, B. amyloliquefaciens NJN-6 isolated from the suppressive soil was selected as a potential bio-control agent. A bioorganic fertilizer (BIO), formulated by combining this isolate with compost, was applied in nursery pots to assess the bio-control of Panama disease. Results showed that BIO significantly decreased disease incidence by 68.5%, resulting in a doubled yield. Moreover, bacterial community structure was significantly correlated to disease incidence and yield and Bacillus colonization was negatively correlated with pathogen abundance and disease incidence, but positively correlated to yield. In total, the application of BIO altered the rhizo-bacterial community by establishing beneficial strains that dominated the microbial community and decreased pathogen colonization in the banana rhizosphere, which plays an important role in the management of Panama disease.
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