Submitted to: Phytopathology
Publication Type: Abstract only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/20/2006
Publication Date: 8/20/2006
Citation: Bull, C.T., Martin, K.J., Singer, M.H. 2006. Exploiting myxobacterial ecology to control plant diseases. Phytopathology 96:S153. Interpretive Summary: N/A
Technical Abstract: Myxobacteria are ubiquitous in agricultural soils and the rhizosphere of crop plants. They produce a plethora of diverse secondary metabolites, prey on bacteria and inhibit fungi, including plant pathogens. Mutations in early developmental regulatory and putative antibiotic production genes in M. xanthus DK1622 reduced control of soil-borne fungal pathogens in growth chambers assays. Additionally these mutants and well-characterized motility mutants were impaired for predation of plant pathogenic bacteria in in vitro assays. These data suggest that predation and development are dependent upon a series of interlinked processes required for myxobacterial nutrient scavenging. Because myxobacteria are difficult to enumerate from environmental samples, culture-independent methods of detection and enumeration of myxobacteria were developed and are being used to determine how these and other factors influence predation and disease control in situ. These methods are being used in the impact of myxobacteria on fungal and bacterial populations in agricultural and undisturbed soils.