Department of Plant Pathology, Throckmorton Hall, Kansas State University, Manhattan 66506-5502
Pseudomonas fluorescens strain Pf-5, which produces several antifun-gal metabolites, including the antibiotics pyoluteorin, pyrrolnitrin, and 2,4-diacetylphloroglucinol, was tested for its ability to inhibit Sclerotinia homoeocarpa (causal agent of dollar spot) and Drechslerapoae (causal agent of ‘melting-out’) in vitro and in turfgrass; Tn5 mutants with altered antibiotic production also were tested. Inhibition in vitro differed with the medium used, but both fungi generally were inhibited by Pf-5. In most cases, a mutant deficient in pyoluteorin but not pyrrolnitrin or 2,4-di-acetylphloroglucinol was as inhibitory as Pf-5, whereas a pyrrolnitrin-deficient mutant was less inhibitory than Pf-5 in most fungus/medium combinations. High-performance liquid chromatography analysis of culture extracts showed that bacterial genotype and nutrition have an interactive effect on antibiotic production, such that conditions causing an increase in one antibiotic may increase or decrease another. The purported deficiencies for the pyrrolnitrin- and pyoluteorin-deficient mutants were confirmed. In S. homoeocarpa-infested grass clippings incubated in a moist chamber, Pf-5 reduced mycelial growth, whereas the pyrrolnitrin-deficient mutant did not and the pyoluteorin-deficient mutant was intermediate. In greenhouse experiments, Pf-5 reduced dollar spot disease incidence in bentgrass and bluegrass when sprayed over inoculated turf. In grass clippings infested with D. poae and incubated in a moist chamber under favorable conditions for spore production, Pf-5 did not reduce significantly the number of spores produced compared with the non-treated control. However, Pf-5 reduced melting-out disease incidence and severity in bluegrass inoculated with spores of D. poae under greenhouse conditions.