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Die Naturwissenschaften
Vol. 96, No: 6, 2009, Pages: 743 - 7

Indigenous bacteria may interfere with the biocontrol of plant diseases

Someya N, Akutsu K

National Agricultural Research Center for Hokkaido Region, National Agriculture and Food Research Organization, Shinsei, Memuro-cho, Kasai-gun, Hokkaido 082-0081, Japan.


Prodigiosin is a reddish antibiotic pigment that plays an important role in the biocontrol of plant diseases by the bacterium Serratia marcescens. However, its activity is unstable under agricultural conditions; further, it can be degraded by various environmental factors. To examine the effect of epiphytic microbes on the stability of prodigiosin used for biological control processes, we collected a total of 1,280 bacterial isolates from the phylloplane of cyclamen and tomato plants. Approximately 72% of the bacterial strains isolated from the cyclamen plants and 66% of those isolated from the tomato plants grew on minimal agar medium containing 100 microg ml(-1) prodigiosin. Certain isolates obtained from both plant species exhibited prodigiosin-degrading activity. We compared the 16S rRNA gene sequences derived from the isolates with sequences in a database. The comparison revealed that the sequences determined for the prodigiosin-degrading isolates were homologous to those of the genera Pseudomonas, Caulobacter, Rhizobium, Sphingomonas, Janthinobacterium, Novosphingobium, and Rathayibacter. These results indicate that indigenous epiphytic microorganisms may interfere with the interaction between plant pathogens and biocontrol agents by degrading the antibiotics produced by the agents.

Keywords:antibiotic pigment that plays an important role in the biocontrol of plant diseases,Serratia marcescens,epiphytic microbes on the stability of prodigiosin.


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