Link to home

A Quantitative Method for Determining Soil Populations of Streptomyces and Differentiating Potential Potato Scab-Inducing Strains

June 1998 , Volume 82 , Number  6
Pages  631 - 638

Kenneth L. Conn and Edlira Leci , Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), Pest Management Research Center (PMRC), 1391 Sandford St., London, Ontario, Canada N5V 4T3 ; Giora Kritzman , Department of Plant Pathology, ARO, The Volcani Center, Bet Dagan 50 250 Israel ; and George Lazarovits , AAFC, PMRC, 1391 Sandford St., London, Ontario, Canada N5V 4T3

Go to article:
Accepted for publication 14 March 1998.

A procedure is described for estimating Streptomyces populations in soil. Soils are air-dried, 10g quantities are shaken in plastic bags containing 0.1% water agar and homogenized with a Stomacher homogenizer, serial dilutions are plated on a semi-selective culture (STR) medium and incubated for 2 weeks at 22°C, and the Streptomyces colonies are enumerated. Use of STR medium reduced the bacterial and fungal colonies recovered from soil to levels below that of the Streptomyces spp. while not affecting the number of Streptomyces colonies compared with those enumerated on yeast malt extract medium. A procedure for screening large numbers of Streptomyces strains for thaxtomin production, a phytotoxin recognized as a virulence marker in S. scabies, is also described. Strains are grown on oatmeal medium, and the thaxtomin is extracted from the medium by facilitated diffusion and detected by miniature thin layer chromatography. S. scabies and S. acidiscabies strains (approximately 130 from Ontario and 70 from other locations in North America) that produced thaxtomin did not form aerial mycelia or sporulate on STR medium within 2 weeks at 22°C. Ontario S. scabies strains that produced thaxtomin A also produced melanin on STR medium. All S. scabies strains from scab lesions that produced thaxtomin A had this colony morphology, whereas only 4 to 9% of strains from soil with this colony morphology produced thaxtomin A. Using these procedures, we determined that the population of thaxtomin-producing S. scabies in soil from a potato field in Ontario with a history of potato scab was about 20,000 CFU/g soil.

Additional keywords: common scab, deep pitted scab, soilborne pathogen

The American Phytopathological Society, 1998