Submitted to: Letters in Applied Microbiology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: December 8, 2008
Publication Date: June 1, 2009
Citation: Narciso, J.A. 2009. A simple method for screening antimicrobial compounds with application to plant disease and fruit quality. Letters in Applied Microbiology. 48:548-553. Interpretive Summary: In order to find compounds that are effective against specific microorganisms, screening methods are undertaken. The majorities of these tests are accomplished in a petri dish using methods such as the disc assay or agar diffusion, and have no relation to the activity of the compound on the surface on which it will be applied. The method described in this paper takes these screens one step closer to in vivo studies by applying the experimental compound onto the surface to be protected, and not just in the petri dish, under aseptic and controlled conditions.
Technical Abstract: It is often difficult to extrapolate information obtained under laboratory conditions to the field. This is especially true in the case of translating reactions between microorganisms grown in a Petri dish with experimental antimicrobials, and using these experimental compounds in commercial applications. Often large volumes of fruit or other natural materials (e.g. leaf or wood tissues) are used for a virtually untested protocol and result in a large expenditure of time and materials. An intermediate method, where experimental compounds could be tested on a specific commodity without expending large quantities of either fruit or experimental compound, would be practical and economical. A method such as this was developed at the Citrus and Subtropical Product Labs in Winter Haven, and employs the use of a small experimental chamber in which pieces of natural materials (e.g. fruit) are tested with experimental compounds. These results are more analogous to what happens in the field than the laboratory dish.