Source: SEAMEO BIOTROP's Research Grant | 2020
Indonesia is still one of the most important pepper producers in the world market, but its productivity has continued to decline in the last ten years. The main problems with decreased pepper production are decreased plant health and quality of seeds of pepper, inefficient farming, low quality and product diversification, inefficient trade chains, and high yield losses due to plant pests and disease. Several important plant pathogens have caused significant yield losses in pepper, such as root-stem disease by Phytophthora sp, and yellowing disease caused by plant parasitic nematodes, especially on pepper in the Bangka region. Various control measures have been implemented to overcome this disease, especially with synthetic pesticides, but have not shown satisfactory results. The use of synthetic pesticides that are too intensive, apart from being expensive, can also cause negative impacts on the environment, pathogens become more resistant, kill natural enemies or microbes. benefits which in turn can cause the agroecosystem to become weaker and more vulnerable, thus threatening the sustainability of the pepper production system. Efforts to improve plant health and healthy agroecosystems are urgent to increase productivity and pepper production in Indonesia. Improving plant health can be achieved by maximizing the beneficial role of local microbes. Endophytic bacteria are non-pathogenic bacteria, are very abundant in nature and can be isolated from the tissues of various healthy plant species and are beneficial because of their ability to improve plant growth and health. The purpose of this study was the use the formulation of a single endophytic bacteria combination and a consortium originated from various plants for the production of healthy pepper seeds and to improve the plant health of pepper against plant parasitic nematode Meloidogyne spp. The results showed that the formulation of combination of single endophytic bacterial isolates and consortium isolates could increase the percentage of pepper seed growth. Likewise, the combination of endophytic bacterial isolates can increase the growth of pepper seeds compared to those that do not use endophytic bacteria or conventional. Using soil media mixed with soil from the roots of pepper plants in Bangka (soil infested with plant parasitic nematodes), showed that pepper seeds were able to grow well and suppress damage by nematodes on the roots of pepper seedlings. Provision of endophytic bacteria formulations to several pepper seeds significantly accelerated their growth. This was evident in the 3.5 months after planting the seeds, some pepper seedlings could form a number of sections or segments reaching more than 5 segments, which usually took more than 5 months to reach 5 segments under normal conditions. This research indicates that technology endophytic bacteria was able to increase the percentage of pepper seed growth, improves the plant growth and health of pepper plants and is expected to increase the success in growing pepper in the field.