Submitted to: Phytopathology
Publication Type: Abstract only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/15/2011
Publication Date: 6/15/2011
Citation: Pusey, P.L., Stockwell, V.O., Reardon, C.L., Smits, T.H., Duffy, B. 2011. Antibiosis by Pantoea agglomerans biocontrol strain E325 against Erwinia amylovora on apple blossom stigmas. Phytopathology. 101:S146-S147. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Pantoea agglomerans E325, the active ingredient in a commercial product for fire blight control, was previously shown in vitro to produce a unique alkaline- and phosphate-sensitive antibiotic specific to Erwinia amylovora. Antibiosis was evaluated as a mode of antagonism on blossom stigmas using two antibiosis-deficient mutants. On King’s medium B, mutants E325ad1 and E325ad2 have stable smooth-butyrous or hypermucoid colony morphologies, respectively, whereas the parental strain E325 exhibits phenotypic plasticity with predominantly hypermucoid colonies accompanied by slower-growing, smooth-butyrous colonies. Mutants were tested against E. amylovora on stigmas of detached blossoms of crab apple (Malus mandshurica) in growth chambers and apple (Malus domestica) in the orchard. Epiphytic fitness of the antibiosis-negative mutants was similar or greater than the parental strain as determined by relative area under the population curve (RAUPC). In laboratory and orchard trials, both mutants had significantly lower inhibitory activity against the pathogen (i.e., less reduction of E. amylovora RAUPC) compared to the parental strain. E325 and the mutants caused similar decreases in pH in a broth medium, indicating that acidification, which was previously reported as a possible mechanism of pathogen inhibition on stigmas, is not directly related to antibiosis. In this study we provide the first evidence for E325 antibiosis involved in E. amylovora growth suppression on apple blossom stigmas.