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Phytopathology. 2000 Apr;90(4):327-32. doi: 10.1094/PHYTO.2000.90.4.327.

A rapid bioassay for screening rhizosphere microorganisms for their ability to induce systemic resistance.


We developed a rapid and miniaturized bioassay for screening large numbers of rhizosphere microorganisms for their ability to induce systemic resistance to bacterial leaf spot of radish caused by Xanthomonas campestris pv. armoraciae. In this bioassay, Pantoea agglomerans strain E278Ar controlled symptoms of disease as effectively as 2,6-dichloroisonicotinic acid when applied to the roots of seedlings produced in growth pouches in a soilless system. E278Ar essentially did not migrate from seedling roots to the foliage. This suggests that induction of systemic resistance could best explain the observed reduction in disease severity. Three mini-Tn5Km-induced mutants of strain E278Ar were isolated that had lost the ability to induce resistance. The bioassay also was used to demonstrate that the fungal biocontrol agent Trichoderma hamatum strain 382 induces systemic resistance in radish. The bioassay required only 14 to 18 days from seeding until rating for disease severity, which is 10 to 14 days less than earlier bioassays.

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