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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2012 Jul;78(14):4933-41. doi: 10.1128/AEM.00772-12. Epub 2012 May 4.

Banana-associated microbial communities in Uganda are highly diverse but dominated by Enterobacteriaceae.

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1
Graz University of Technology, Institute of Environmental Biotechnology, Graz, Austria.

Abstract

Bananas are among the most widely consumed foods in the world. In Uganda, the country with the second largest banana production in the world, bananas are the most important staple food. The objective of this study was to analyze banana-associated microorganisms and to select efficient antagonists against fungal pathogens which are responsible for substantial yield losses. We studied the structure and function of microbial communities (endosphere, rhizosphere, and soil) obtained from three different traditional farms in Uganda by cultivation-independent (PCR-SSCP fingerprints of 16S rRNA/ITS genes, pyrosequencing of enterobacterial 16S rRNA gene fragments, quantitative PCR, fluorescence in situ hybridization coupled with confocal laser scanning microscopy, and PCR-based detection of broad-host-range plasmids and sulfonamide resistance genes) and cultivation-dependent methods. The results showed microhabitat-specific microbial communities that were significant across sites and treatments. Furthermore, all microhabitats contained a high number and broad spectrum of indigenous antagonists toward identified fungal pathogens. While bacterial antagonists were found to be enriched in banana plants, fungal antagonists were less abundant and mainly found in soil. The banana stem endosphere was the habitat with the highest bacterial counts (up to 10(9) gene copy numbers g(-1)). Here, enterics were found to be enhanced in abundance and diversity; they provided one-third of the bacteria and were identified by pyrosequencing with 14 genera, including not only potential human (Escherichia, Klebsiella, Salmonella, and Yersinia spp.) and plant (Pectobacterium spp.) pathogens but also disease-suppressive bacteria (Serratia spp.). The dominant role of enterics can be explained by the permanent nature and vegetative propagation of banana and the amendments of human, as well as animal, manure in these traditional cultivations.

PMID:
22562988
PMCID:
PMC3416381
DOI:
10.1128/AEM.00772-12
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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