, Volume 108, Issue 9, pp 821-829

Reduction of Bacterial Speck (Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato) of Tomato by Combined Treatments of Plant Growth-promoting Bacterium, Azospirillum brasilense, Streptomycin Sulfate, and Chemo-thermal Seed Treatment

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Inoculation of tomato seeds with the plant growth-promoting bacterium Azospirillum brasilense, or spraying tomato foliage with A. brasilense, streptomycin sulfate, or commercial copper bactericides, separately, before or after inoculation with Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato, the casual agent of bacterial speck of tomato, had no lasting effect on disease severity or on plant height and dry weight. Seed inoculation with A. brasilense combined with a single streptomycin foliar treatment and two foliar bactericide applications at 5-day intervals (a third or less of the recommended commercial dose) reduced disease severity in tomato seedlings by over 90% after 4 weeks, and significantly slowed disease development under mist conditions. A. brasilense did not induce significant systemic resistance against the pathogen although the level of salicylic acid increased in inoculated plants. Treatment of tomato seeds that were artificially inoculated with P. syringae pv. tomato, with a combination of mild chemo-thermal treatment, A. brasilense seed inoculation, and later, a single foliar application of a copper bactericide, nearly eliminated bacterial leaf speck even when the plants were grown under mist for 6 weeks. This study shows that a combination of otherwise ineffective disease management tactics, when applied in concert, can reduce bacterial speck intensity in tomatoes under mist conditions.