Wageningen UR investigates plant disease suppression by Lysobacter

April 20, 2012 By Joeke Postma, Wageningen University

Lysobacter bacteria were frequently found in disease-suppressive soils. Wageningen UR has started a project to study the diversity of Lysobacter populations and the mode of action of this bacterium to suppress plant diseases.  The acquired knowledge will enable the development of alternative methods for the protection of plants against pathogens.

Scientists of Wageningen University and Plant Research International (PRI) are collaborating to acquire more fundamental knowledge about Lysobacter because little is known about the genetics and neither about the metabolites produced by Lysobacter.

The Phytopathology Group, part of Wageningen University, studies the genome sequences of various Lysobacter species and their significance for the functioning of the . The Group is cooperating with Rutgers University from the United States and with the business unit Biointeractions and Plant Health of PRI. This business unit investigates the conditions under which Lysobacter is active.

Earlier PRI studies showed the suppressiveness of Lysobacter towards the fungal pathogen Rhizoctonia solani as well as stimulation of the activity of Lysobacter by chitin and cheap protein-rich waste products. Until now, however, the mechanisms of  this suppressiveness and the role of Lysobacter in these processes were unclear. Fundamental research will lead to more knowledge about the metabolites produced by Lysobacter and the condition under which this bacterium is active.

Explore further: Soil bacteria plant bodyguards against fungal infections

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