Submitted to: Phytopathology
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: February 16, 2009
Publication Date: May 20, 2009
Citation: Thomashow, L.S., Weller, D.M., Mavrodi, M.V. 2009. Beyond efficacy: Challenges in the selection of safe bacterial biological control agents. Phytopathology. 99:S174. Technical Abstract: The search for new biological control agents often begins with screening in vitro for activity against target pathogens, followed by greenhouse or field assays. Physiological, biochemical, and phylogenetic analyses frequently are not undertaken until much later, after considerable investment already has been made in the candidate agent, and only then are many promising new isolates found to carry “baggage” due to their real or perceived affiliation with known plant or animal pathogens. Here we consider representatives of three complex genera (Pseudomonas, Burkholderia, and Bacillus) and the features that make them attractive as BCAs. We review current phylogenetic relationships within each of these genera and identify features that may prove useful in evaluating risks associated with representative strains.