Submitted to: American Phytopathological Society
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/13/2003
Publication Date: 6/20/2003
Citation: Slininger, P.J., Schisler, D.A. 2003. High throughput assay for optimizing microbial biological control agent production and delivery [abstract]. Phytopathology (American Phytopathology Society Meeting Abstracts). 93(6):S94.
Technical Abstract: Lack of technologies to produce and deliver effective biological control agents (BCAs) is a major barrier to their commercialization. A myriad of variables associated with BCA cultivation, formulation, drying, storage, and reconstitution processes complicates agent quality maximization. An efficient assay was developed using a 96-well microplate format to allow an integrated approach to optimizing these process variables. The assay involves growing the BCA of interest in flasks or fermentors, formulating cells harvested from growth cultures, delivering microliter droplets of formulated cells to microplate wells, air- or freeze-drying droplets, storing plates, reconstituting dried cells, and monitoring the rate of cell growth to a specified yield using a plate-reading spectrophotometer. Relevant variables (ingredients, temperature, etc.) are tested at each step of the assay process to view their individual and combined impact on resultant microbial activity. The utility of this method to evaluate many treatments is demonstrated on strains of Pseudomonas fluorescens and Enterobacter cloacae known to suppress fungal plant diseases.