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Dual Activity of a Viral Lysozyme with High Efficiency for Growth Inhibition of Erwinia amylovora

December 2004 , Volume 94 , Number  12
Pages  1,315 - 1,322

Heike Salm and Klaus Geider

Max-Planck-Institut für Zellbiologie, Rosenhof, Ladenburg, Germany

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Accepted for publication 5 August 2004.

The lysozyme from Erwinia amylovora phage ΦEa1h was investigated for its ability to inhibit growth of bacteria and compared with the lysozyme from Escherichia coli phage T4. The assays to measure lysozyme activity included cell lysis and growth inhibition of bacteria. Bacterial strains with kanamycin resistance were not affected by lysates containing the ΦEa1h-enzyme. The titer of Micrococcus luteus but not of Erwinia amylovora was diminished by cell extracts containing T4 lysozyme. In contrast, ΦEa1h lysozyme preferentially inhibited E. amylovora, exceeding the T4 lysozyme activity at least one million-fold. Spherical cells were formed after application to E. amylovora similar to lyz-gene expression in Escherichia coli. Heating of cell extracts destroyed the murami-dase activity, but retained an antibacterial activity. Other plant-associated bacteria related to Erwinia amylovora also were inhibited for growth when cell extracts with ΦEa1h lysozyme were applied to soak pear slices and potato slices. Ooze formation and soft rot caused by E. amylovora or E. carotovora subsp. atroseptica, respectively, were strongly reduced and the ΦEa1h lysozyme was more efficient compared with extracts containing T4 lysozyme.

Additional keywords: fire blight.

© 2004 The American Phytopathological Society