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J Invertebr Pathol. 2006 Mar;91(3):141-6. Epub 2006 Feb 3.

Inhibition of the growth of Paenibacillus larvae, the causal agent of American foulbrood of honeybees, by selected strains of aerobic spore-forming bacteria isolated from apiarian sources.

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Centro de Investigaciones de Fitopatología, Facultad de Ciencias Agrarias y Forestales, Universidad Nacional de La Plata, 60 y 118, cc 31, 1900 La Plata, Argentina.


The bacterium Paenibacillus larvae, the causative agent of American foulbrood disease of honeybee larvae, occurs throughout the world and is found in many beekeeping areas of Argentina. The potential as biocontrol agents of antagonic aerobic spore-forming bacteria isolated from honey samples and other apiarian sources were evaluated. Each isolate was screened against one strain of Paenibacillus larvae (ATCC 9545) by using a perpendicular streak technique. Ten randomly selected bacterial strains from the group that showed the best antagonistic effect to P. larvae ATCC 9545 were selected for further study. These were identified as Bacillus subtilis (m351), B. pumilus (m350), B. licheniformis (m347), B. cereus (mv33), B. cereus (m387), B. cereus (m6c), B. megaterium (m404), Brevibacillus laterosporus (BLAT169), B. laterosporus (BLAT170), and B. laterosporus (BLAT171). The antagonistic strains were tested against 17 P. larvae strains from different geographical origins by means of a spot test in wells. The analysis of variance and posterior comparison of means by Tukey method (P < 0.01) showed that the best antagonists were B. megaterium (m404), B. licheniformis (m347), B. cereus (m6c), B. cereus (mv33), and B. cereus (m387).

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