Potential use of newly isolated bacteriophage as a biocontrol against Acidovorax citrulli

  • Aryan Rahimi-Midani
  • Jong-Oh Kim
  • Ju Hee Kim
  • Jeonghyeon Lim
  • Jae-Gee Ryu
  • Mi-Kyeong Kim
  • Tae-Jin ChoiEmail author
Original Paper


Acidovorax citrulli, the gram-negative bacteria that causes bacterial fruit blotch (BFB), has been responsible for huge worldwide economic losses in watermelon and melon production since 1980. No commercial cultivar resistant to BFB has been reported. Of the two reported genotypes of A. citrulli, genotype I is the main causal agent of BFB in melon and genotype II causes disease in watermelon. After the isolation of the first bacteriophage against A. citrulli (ACP17), efforts have been made to isolate bacteriophages with wider host ranges by collecting samples from watermelon, pumpkin, and cucumber. The newly isolated phage ACPWH, belonging to the Siphoviridae family, has a head size of 60 ± 5 nm and tail size of 180 ± 5 nm, and can infect 39 out of 42 A. citrulli strains. ACPWH has genome size of 42,499 and GC content of 64.44%. Coating watermelon seeds with bacteriophage ACPWH before soil inoculation with A. citrulli resulted in 96% germination and survival, compared to 13% germination of uncoated control seeds. These results suggest that phage ACPWH may be an effective and low-cost biocontrol agent against BFB.


Acidovorax citrulli Bacterial fruit blotch Bacteriophage Biocontrol agent Watermelon pathogen 



This work was supported by Korea Institute of Planning and Evaluation for Technology in Food, Agriculture and Forestry (IPET) through Agri-Bio Industry Technology Development Program funded by Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (MAFRA) (Grant #31702–4).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors reported no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

203_2019_1754_MOESM1_ESM.docx (19 kb)
Supplementary file1 (DOCX 19 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of MicrobiologyPukyong National UniversityBusanRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Institute of Marine BiotechnologyPukyong National UniversityBusanRepublic of Korea
  3. 3.Division of Response to Climate ChangeJeonbuk ARESIksanRepublic of Korea
  4. 4.Watermelon Experimental StationJeonbuk ARESGochangRepublic of Korea
  5. 5.Microbial Safety DivisionNational Institute of Agricultural Science, Rural Development AdministrationWanju-gunRepublic of Korea
  6. 6.Department of Clinical Laboratory ScienceGimhae CollegeGimhaeRepublic of Korea

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