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Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2002 Jun;13(3):238-43.

Phyllosphere microbiology.

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University of California, Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, 111 Koshland Hall, Berkeley, California 94720, USA.


Aerial plant surfaces harbor large numbers of microbes, some of which are deleterious to plants whereas others are benign or beneficial. Commercial formulations of bacteria antagonistic to plant pathogenic microbes and ice nucleation active bacteria have been utilized as an environmentally safe method to manage plant disease and to prevent frost damage. Molecular genetic tools, microscopic examination and whole-cell bacterial biosensors have provided extensive information on these microbes, their complex associations and their habitat. The aerial habitat influenced by plants, termed the phyllosphere, is particularly amenable to studies of microbial ecology and the information gained should lead to more effective means of plant protection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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