Submitted to: Journal of Soil Biology and Biochemistry
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 28, 1997
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Dry rot of potatoes is a fungal disease which produces fungal toxins which can harm animals and humans and destroys potato tissue, causing losses of 150 to 600 million dollars annually to the United States potato industry. The chemical currently used to prevent dry rot in potatoes going into storage is losing its effectiveness against the fungus. We have isolated a bacterium from potato field soil which naturally suppresses the fungal disease. We are developing it as an environmentally compatible treatment that can be manufactured economically. Several antifungal antibiotics are known to be produced by this bacterium. The identification of these antibiotics is important because we need to know how the bacterium controls fungal disease so that we can determine the most efficient way to use it to protect potatoes. This report describes the isolation of a major antibiotic produced by this strain and its identification as phenylacetic acid.
Technical Abstract: Enterobacter cloacae (Jordan) Hormaeche and Edwards strain S11:T:07 (NRRL B-21050) is a soil bacterium isolated from potato field soil which is being developed as a biological control agent for the protection of potatoes because it can be economically grown in liquid culture and can effectively control Fusarium dry rot of potatoes. Several antifungal antibiotics are known to be produced by strain S11:T:07 in liquid culture. The identification of these antifungal compounds is important because knowledge about them and their role in biological control impacts on our design of production and formulation methods for using the strain as a biological control agent. This report describes the isolation of the major antifungal compound produced by this strain when grown in Sabouraud maltose broth and its identification as phenylacetic acid.