Application of Rhizobacteria for Induced Resistance
- Cite this article as:
- Zehnder, G.W., Murphy, J.F., Sikora, E.J. et al. European Journal of Plant Pathology (2001) 107: 39. doi:10.1023/A:1008732400383
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This article provides a review of experiments conducted over a six-year period to develop a biological control system for insect-transmitted diseases in vegetables based on induced systemic resistance (ISR) mediated by plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR). Initial experiments investigated the factors involved in treatment with PGPR led to ISR to bacterial wilt disease in cucumber caused by Erwinia tracheiphila. Results demonstrated that PGPR-ISR against bacterial wilt and feeding by the cucumber beetle vectors of E. trachiphiela were associated with reduced concentrations of cucurbitacin, a secondary plant metabolite and powerful beetle feeding stimulant. In other experiments, PGPR induced resistance against bacterial wilt in the absence of the beetle vectors, suggesting that PGPR-ISR protects cucumber against bacterial wilt not only by reducing beetle feeding and transmission of the pathogen, but also through the induction of other plant defense mechanisms after the pathogen has been introduced into the plant. Additional greenhouse and field experiments are described in which PGPR strains were selected for ISR against cucumber mosaic virus (CMV) and tomato mottle virus (ToMoV). Although results varied from year to year, field-grown tomatoes treated with PGPR demonstrated a reduction in the development of disease symptoms, and often a reduction in the incidence of viral infection and an increase in tomato yield. Recent efforts on commercial development of PGPR are described in which biological preparations containing industrial formulated spores of PGPR plus chitosan were formulated and evaluated for use in a transplant soil mix system for developing plants that can withstand disease attack after transplanting in the field.