Submitted to: Phytopathology
Publication Type: Abstract only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/15/2011
Publication Date: 6/15/2011
Citation: Duffy, B., Kamber, T., Rezzonico, F., Llop, P., Ishimaru, C.A., Pusey, P.L., Stockwell, V.O., Smits, T.H. 2011. Pantoea applied genomics to understand and improve biocontrol activity against fire blight. Phytopathology. 101:S232. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Pantoea agglomerans and P. vagans (ex. Erwinia herbicola) are common epiphytes of pome fruit flowers and three strains (E325, P10c, C9-1) have been commercially developed as effective biocontrol products for managing fire blight (Erwinia amylovora). Antibiotics as a standard, reliable chemical option for disease control in orchards, however, sets a high bar for biocontrol in order to win grower confidence and acceptance as an alternative. Genomics opens new doors to optimize biocontrol performance through better understanding of mechanisms of action and environmental behavior. Complete genome sequences have recently been obtained for commercial P. agglomerans E325 (Bloomtime, Northwest Agricultural Products, P.L. Pusey) and P. vagans C9-1 (BlightBan, C. Ishimaru). This has enabled characterization of entire biosynthetic clusters for antibacterial metabolites and putative regulatory elements, facilitating development of qPCR and biosensors to determine environmental modulators of biocontrol gene expression (in orchards, during formulation). These genomes lay the foundation for transcriptomic analysis in planta. Genomics has also enabled design of tools for strain-specific environmental monitoring and evaluation of Pantoea biosafety, which are critical regulatory elements for registration.