Plant Pathol J > Volume 26(3); 2010 > Article
The Plant Pathology Journal 2010;26(3):238-244.
DOI:    Published online September 30, 2010.
Spatial and Temporal Distribution of a Biocontrol Bacterium Bacillus licheniformis N1 on the Strawberry Plants
Hyun Gi Kong, Hyoung Ju Lee, Ju Young Bae, Nam Hee Kim, Byung Ju Moon, Seon Woo Lee
Spatial and temporal distribution of Bacillus licheniformis N1 was investigated over time on the leaves, petioles and crowns of the strawberry plants. Bacterial population on the strawberry plants was quantified over time by selective plating. Bacterial population of N1 containing a plasmid pWH43G carrying green fluorescent protein (GFP) declined relatively faster on the plant surface as compared to the Strain N1 itself. However, this result was found to be enough to utilize the strain to visualize bacterial colonization on the plant surface. When B. licheniformis N1 was treated together with Silwet L-77 at 0.03%, the bacterial population on plant surface persisted for up to 7 days. B. licheniformis N1 (pWH43G) containing Silwet L-77 was applied on the strawberry plants and the GFP expressing bacteria were visualized by confocal laser scanning microscopy. Bacterial persistence was also investigated in a growth chamber and in a plastic house after N1 bioformulation treatment on the strawberry plant. The Strain N1 colonized three different tissues well and persisted over 3 to 5 days on the strawberry plants. They formed bacterial aggregates on plant surfaces for at least 3 days, resulting in a biofilm to resist fluctuating plant surface environment. However, the bacterial persistence dramatically declined after 7 days in all tested tissues in a plastic house. This study suggest that B. licheniformis N1 colonizes the strawberry plant surface and persists for a long time in a controlled growth chamber, while it can not persist over 7 days on the plant surface in a plastic house.
Key Words: Bacillus licheniformis, biocontrol agent, colonization, distribution, persistence, strawberry

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