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J Appl Microbiol. 2000 Jun;88(6):952-60.

Diversity of antifungal and plant-associated Serratia plymuthica strains.

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Department of Microbiology, University of Rostock, Rostock, Germany.


A total of 21 plant-associated Serratia plymuthica strains were characterized phenotypically by their nutritional patterns, susceptibility to antibiotics, antifungal and haemolytic properties, and genotypically by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) of PCR-amplified 16S rDNA, PCR fingerprints using BOX primers (BOX-PCR) and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) after digestion with SpeI. All of the investigated strains demonstrated antifungal activity in vitro against fungal pathogens while only six strains produced the antifungal antibiotic prodigiosin. Haemolytic activity and antibiotic resistance patterns were investigated to assess the risk associated with the use of isolates in plant protection. The strains were haemolytic at human-relevant temperatures. The level of resistance to antibiotics was low. This work shows that BOX-PCR and PFGE are useful fingerprinting methods to characterize Ser. plymuthica strains, although the discriminatory effect between the two methods differed. Computer-assisted analysis of phenotypic and genotypic features demonstrated relationships between the origin of isolation, the production of prodigiosin and the molecular fingerprint.

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