Liquid medium and an enriched agar were used to detect endophytic bacteria in micropropagated mints (Mentha spp.) within 2 to 6 d of inoculation. Bacteria isolated from the cultures were screened on several antibiotic concentrations to determine bactericidal doses. Antibiotics were also tested for phytotoxic effects. Shoot tips from infected plants were treated by immersion in liquid MS medium containing antibiotics either singly or in combination. Streptomycin applied at 1000µg/ml for a period of 10 d was effective and less phytotoxic in a larger number of cases than gentamicin (50µg/ml), neomycin (500µg/ml), or rifampicin (30µg/ml). Mint cultures that tested negative for bacteria after antibiotic treatment were multiplied, retested, and cold-stored for 1 yr or longer. Upon regrowth after storage, 25 of 30 treated cultures (83%) tested negative for bacteria. Of the 25, 8 were successfully treated with streptomycin, 1 with gentamicin, 2 with neomycin, 1 with rifampicin, and 1 with streptomycin and gentamicin; 12 required more than one treatment. An early detection system, initial trial treatment with streptomycin for infected plants, and monitoring of treated cultures successfully reduced the spread of bacterial contamination. Antibiotic treatment in liquid MS medium at pH 6.9 resulted in enhanced bactericidal activity over that seen at pH 5.5.
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Reed, B.M., Buckley, P.M. & DeWilde, T.N. Detection and eradication of endophytic bacteria from micropropagated mint plants. In Vitro Cell Dev Biol - Plant 31, 53–57 (1995). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02632228
- endophytic bacteria
- contaminant detection