Biological control of bacterial plant diseases with Lactobacillus plantarum strains selected for their broad-spectrum activity

The use of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) to control multiple pathogens that affect different crops was studied, namely, Pseudomonas syringae pv. actinidiae in kiwifruit, Xanthomonas arboricola pv. pruni in Prunus and Xanthomonas fragariae in strawberry. A screening procedure based on in vitro and in planta assays of the three bacterial pathogens was successful in selecting potential LAB strains as biological control agents. The antagonistic activity of 55 strains was first tested in vitro and the strains Lactobacillus plantarum CC100, PM411 and TC92, and Leuconostoc mesenteroides CM160 and CM209 were selected because of their broad-spectrum activity. The biocontrol efficacy of the selected strains was assessed using a multiple-pathosystem approach in greenhouse conditions. L. plantarum PM411 and TC92 prevented all three pathogens from infecting their corresponding plant hosts. In addition, the biocontrol performance of PM411 and TC92 was comparable to the reference products (Bacillus amyloliquefaciens D747, Bacillus subtilis QST713, chitosan, acibenzolar-S-methyl, copper and kasugamycin) in semi-field and field experiments. The in vitro inhibitory mechanism of PM411 and TC92 is based, at least in part, on a pH lowering effect and the production of lactic acid. Moreover, both strains showed similar survival rates on leaf surfaces. PM411 and TC92 can easily be distinguished because of their different multilocus sequence typing and random amplified polymorphic DNA profiles ​
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