Lactic acid bacteria from fresh fruit and vegetables as biocontrol agents of phytopathogenic bacteria and fungi

This study evaluated the efficacy of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) isolated from fresh fruits and vegetables as biocontrol agents against the phytopathogenic and spoilage bacteria and fungi, Xanthomonas campestris, Erwinia carotovora, Penicillium expansum, Monilinia laxa, and Botrytis cinerea. The antagonistic activity of 496 LAB strains was tested in vitro and all tested microorganisms except P. expansum were inhibited by at least one isolate. The 496 isolates were also analyzed for the inhibition of P. expansum infection in wounds of Golden Delicious apples. Four strains (TC97, AC318, TM319, and FF441) reduced the fungal rot diameter of the apples by 20%; only Weissella cibaria strain TM128 decreased infection levels by 50%. Cell-free supernatants of selected antagonistic bacteria were studied to determine the nature of the antimicrobial compounds produced. Organic acids were the preferred mediators of inhibition but hydrogen peroxide was also detected when strains BC48, TM128, PM141 and FF441 were tested against E. carotovora. While previous reports of antifungal activity by LAB are scarce, our results support the potential of LAB as biocontrol agents against postharvest rot. [Int Microbiol 2008; 11(4):231-236] ​
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