Submitted to: Bacteria in Agrobiology: Crop Ecosystems
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/28/2010
Publication Date: 5/1/2011
Citation: Roberts, D.P., Kobayashi, D.Y. 2011. Impact of the Spatial Heterogeneity of the Spermosphere and Rhizosphere on Performance of Bacterial Biological Control Agents. In: Maheshwari, D.K., editor. Bacteria in Agrobiology: Crop Ecosystems. Berlin Heidelberg: Springer. p. 111-130. Interpretive Summary: There is significant interest in developing microbial biological control agents for the control of soilborne plant pathogens. This interest is driven in part by the need to develop strategies that are less harmful to man and the environment than conventional chemically based methods. Unfortunately, inconsistent performance under agricultural production conditions by bacterial and other biological control agents is impeding acceptance of biological controls by commercial growers. We highlight the spatial heterogeneity in the physical, chemical, and biological components of agricultural fields and their impact on bacterial biological control agents and discuss how these impacts lead to inconsistent performance in suppression of soilborne diseases. Emphasis is placed on our work concerning the impact of the plant-derived nutrients on the association of bacterial biological control agents with plant seeds and roots and the suppression of disease. This information will be useful to scientists devising strategies directed at improving the consistency in performance of biological controls under field conditions.
Technical Abstract: The spermosphere and rhizosphere environments are the critical interfaces where many plant-microbe and microbe-microbe interactions occurs that lead to plant disease and the suppression of plant disease by bacterial and other biological control agents. We discuss the spatial heterogeneity of the physical, chemical, and biological components within the spermosphere and rhizosphere as they impact the expression of traits and mechanisms important to suppression of disease by bacterial biological control agents and ultimately the consistency of performance by these microbes.