Biocontrol agents are a group of naturally occurring organisms capable of interrupting the lifespan and suppressing the propagation of disease organisms. The use of biocontrol agents offers an environment-friendly and sustainable solution to the synthetic agrochemicals. In this study, we investigated parboiled rice and millets as substrates for spore production of two model biocontrol microorganisms (Bacillus pumilus and Streptomyces griseus) under solid state cultivation (SSC) conditions. The effects of cultivation parameters such as initial moisture content, water activity, and cultivation time on microbial growth and spore production were studied. Furthermore, texture profile analysis was performed to test the stress and strain curve and the hardness and stickiness of the substrates. The greatest spore production occurred at 50% moisture content with millets as a substrate, yielding a count of 1.34 × 108 spores/g-wet-substrate enumerated with plate count analysis and 1.70 × 108 events/g-wet-substrate using flow cytometry analysis. Substrate texture profile was highly correlative to the initial moisture content and substrate type and all proved to be essential process variables in controlling the bacterial growth and sporulation during SSC processes.

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Published in Fermentation, v. 6, issue 3, 69.

© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

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This research was funded by National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture under accession number 1018315.

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Supplementary materials can be found at www.mdpi.com/2311-5637/6/3/69/s1.

fermentation-06-00069-s001.zip (446 kB)
Supplementary File 1