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A novel six-phage cocktail reduces Pectobacterium atrosepticum soft rot infection in potato tubers under simulated storage conditions.

08:00 EDT 16th May 2019 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "A novel six-phage cocktail reduces Pectobacterium atrosepticum soft rot infection in potato tubers under simulated storage conditions."

Pectobacterium atrosepticum is a species of plant pathogenic bacteria responsible for significant losses in potato production worldwide. P. atrosepticum can cause blackleg disease on potato stems as well as the tuber disease termed potato soft rot. Methods for the effective control of these diseases are limited and are primarily based on good agricultural practices. Bacteriophages, viruses of bacteria, could be used as an alternative, environmentally friendly, control measure. Here, we describe the isolation and characterization of 29 phages virulent to P. atrosepticum. The phages belong to 12 different species based on a 95% sequence identity cut-off. Furthermore, based on sequence diversity and propagation results, we selected six of these phages to form a phage cocktail. The phages in the cocktail was tested on a number of P. atrosepticum strains in order to determine their host range. The phages was found to lyse 93% of the tested strains. The cocktail was subsequently tested for its effectiveness in combatting potato soft rot under simulated storage conditions. Use of the phage cocktail reduced both disease incidence and disease severity by 61 and 64% respectively, strongly indicating that phage biocontrol has the potential to reduce the economic impact of soft rot in potato production.

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This article was published in the following journal.

Name: FEMS microbiology letters
ISSN: 1574-6968
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