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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1999 Mar;65(3):1020-8.

Suppression of bacterial blight by a bacterial community isolated from the guttation fluids of anthuriums

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  • 1Department of Plant Pathology, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, Hawaii 96822-2279, USA.


Growth and survival of Xanthomonas campestris pv. dieffenbachiae in guttation fluids (xylem sap exuded from leaf margins) of anthuriums were suppressed by several bacterial strains indigenous to leaves of various anthurium cultivars. Inhibition of growth was not observed in filter-sterilized guttation fluids and was restored to original levels only by reintroducing specific mixtures of bacteria into filter-sterilized guttation fluids. The inhibitory effect was related to the species in the bacterial community rather than to the total numbers of bacteria in the guttation fluids. One very effective bacterial community consisted of five species isolated from inhibitory guttation fluids of two susceptible anthurium cultivars. The individual strains in this community had no effect on the pathogen, but the mixture was inhibitory to X. campestris pv. dieffenbachiae in guttation fluids. The populations of the individual strains remained near the initial inoculum levels for at least 14 days. The effect of the five inhibitory strains on reducing disease in susceptible anthurium plants was tested by using a bioluminescent strain of X. campestris pv. dieffenbachiae to monitor the progression of disease in leaves nondestructively. Invasion of the pathogen through hydathodes at leaf margins was reduced by applying the strain mixture to the leaves. When the strain mixture was applied directly to wounds created on the leaf margins, the pathogen failed to invade through the wounds. This bacterial community has potential for biological control of anthurium blight.

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