, Volume 248, Issue 2, pp 409–421 | Cite as

Photoinactivation of Pseudomonas syringae pv. actinidiae in kiwifruit plants by cationic porphyrins

  • Diana Martins
  • Mariana Q. Mesquita
  • Maria G. P. M. S. NevesEmail author
  • Maria A. F. Faustino
  • Luís Reis
  • Etelvina Figueira
  • Adelaide AlmeidaEmail author
Original Article


Main conclusion

The studied cationic porphyrins formulation allows an effective photoinactivation of Pseudomonas syringae pv. actinidiae in kiwifruit leaves under sunlight irradiation, without damaging the plant.

Pseudomonas syringae pv. actinidiae (Psa) is a Gram-negative phytopathogenic bacterium responsible for canker on kiwifruit plant. Over the last decade, this bacterium dramatically affected the production of this fruit worldwide, causing significant economic losses. In general, Psa control consists in the application of copper which are toxic and persist in the environment. The application of antimicrobial photodynamic therapy (aPDT) as an alternative to inactivate Psa has already been demonstrated in recent studies that showed a 4 log Psa reduction using the cationic porphyrin Tetra-Py+-Me as photosensitizer (PS) and 3 consecutive cycles of treatment with a light irradiance of 150 mW cm−2. The present work aimed to evaluate the photodynamic efficiency of a new formulation constituted with five cationic porphyrins as PS in Psa inactivation. This new formulation was prepared to have as main component the tri-cationic porphyrin which is considered one of the most efficient photosensitizers in the photoinactivation of microorganisms. The in vitro study with a PS concentration of 5.0 µM and low irradiance, showed a 7.4 log photoinactivation after 60 min. Posteriorly, several assays were performed with the PS at 50 µM on kiwifruit leaves (ex vivo), under different conditions of light and inoculation. The ex vivo assays with artificially contaminated leaves showed a 2.8 and 4.5 log inactivation with low irradiance and sunlight, respectively, after 90 min. After a second treatment with sunlight, a 6.2 log inactivation was achieved. The photoinactivation on naturally contaminated leaves was about 2.3 log after 90 min sunlight irradiation. Ten consecutive cycles of phototreatment in sub-lethal conditions showed that Psa does not develop resistance, nor recover viability. The results suggest that aPDT can be an alternative to the current methods used to control Psa, since it was possible to inactivate this bacterium under sunlight, without damaging the leaves.


Antimicrobial photodynamic therapy Pseudomonas syringae Cationic porphyrins Kiwi Resistance development 



The authors are thankful to the University of Aveiro, to FCT/MEC for the financial support to the Centre for Environmental and Marine Studies (CESAM) unit (Project Pest-C/MAR/LA0017/2013) and QOPNA research Unit (FCT UID/QUI/00062/2013), through national founds and, co-financed by the FEDER, within the PT2020 Partnership Agreement, and to the Portuguese NMR Network. MM thank to the Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia FCT for her doctoral Grant (SFRH/BD/112517/2015).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemistry and QOPNAUniversity of AveiroAveiroPortugal
  2. 2.Department of Biology and CESAMUniversity of AveiroAveiroPortugal
  3. 3.Associação Portuguesa de KiwicultoresSanta Maria da FeiraPortugal

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