Burkholderia cepacia AMMDR1 is a biocontrol agent that reduces Pythium damping-off and Aphanomyces root rot severity on peas in the field. We studied the effect of B. cepacia AMMDR1 on post-infection stages in the life cycles of these pathogens, including mycelial colonization of the host, production of oogonia, and production of secondary zoospore inoculum. We used Burkholderia cepacia 1324, a seed and rootcolonizing but antibiosis-deficient Tn5 mutant of B. cepacia AMMDR1, to study mechanisms of biological control other than antibiosis. B. cepacia AMMDR1 significantly reduced Pythium aphanidermatum postinfection colonization and damping-off of pea seeds, even when the bacteria were applied 12 h after zoospore inoculation. B. cepacia AMMDR1 also significantly reduced colonization of taproots by Aphanomyces euteiches mycelium, but only when the bacteria were applied at high population densities at the site of zoospore inoculation. The antibiosisdeficient mutant, B. cepacia 1324, had no effect on mycelial colonization of seeds or roots by Pythium aphanidermatum nor A. euteiches, suggesting that antibiosis is the primary mechanism of biological control. B. cepacia AMMDR1, but not B. cepacia 1324, reduced production of A. euteiches oogonia. This effect occurred even when the population size of B. cepacia AMMDR1 was too small to cause a reduction in lesion length early on in the infection process and may result from in situ antibiotic production. B. cepacia AMMDR1 had no effect on the production of secondary zoospores of A. euteiches from infected roots. The main effects of B. cepacia AMMDR1 on postinfection stages in the life cycles of these pathogens therefore were reductions in mycelial colonization by Pythium aphanidermatum and in formation of oogonia by A. euteiches. No mechanism other than antibiosis could be identified.
plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria