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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2009 May;75(10):3323-30. doi: 10.1128/AEM.02399-08. Epub 2009 Mar 13.

Suppression of the bacterial spot pathogen Xanthomonas euvesicatoria on tomato leaves by an attenuated mutant of Xanthomonas perforans.

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Department of Plant Pathology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA.


A bacteriocin-producing strain of the bacterial spot of tomato plant pathogen, Xanthomonas perforans, with attenuated pathogenicity was deployed for biocontrol of a bacteriocin-sensitive strain of the genetically closely related bacterial spot of tomato plant pathogen, X. euvesicatoria. The attenuated mutant (91-118DeltaopgHDeltabcnB) of X. perforans was tested in leaf tissue and shown to significantly inhibit internal populations of the wild-type X. euvesicatoria strain although significantly less than the wild-type 91-118 strain, whereas in a phyllosphere inhibition assay, the mutant strain reduced epiphytic populations comparably to 91-118. Thus, the attenuated mutant limited the sensitive bacterium more efficiently on the leaf surface than inside the leaf. In field experiments, weekly application of 91-118DeltaopgHDeltabcnB significantly reduced X. euvesicatoria populations compared to the growers' standard control (copper hydroxide and mancozeb applied weekly and acibenzolar-S-methyl applied every 2 weeks). The biological control agent, 91-118DeltaopgHDeltabcnB, applied every 2 weeks also significantly reduced X. euvesicatoria populations in one season but was not significantly different from the growers' standard control. Potentially, attenuated pathogenic strains could be deployed as biological control agents in order to improve disease control of foliar plant pathogens.

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