Competition and antibiosis in the biological control of potato scab

E. C. Neeno-Eckwall, L. L. Kinkel, J. L. Schottel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


Nonpathogenic, antibiotic-producing streptomycetes have been shown to reduce potato scab when added to disease-conducive soil. Spontaneous mutants of the pathogenic Streptomyces scabies RB4 that are resistant to at least one antibiotic activity produced by the nonpathogenic suppressive isolates Streptomyces diastatochromogenes strain PonSSII and S. scabies PonR have been isolated. To determine the importance of antibiosis in this biocontrol system, these mutants were investigated for their ability to cause disease in the presence of the two pathogen antagonists in a greenhouse assay. Disease caused by one of the mutant strains was reduced in the presence of both suppressive isolates, whereas disease caused by the other five mutants was not significantly reduced by either suppressive strain. In addition, a nonpathogenic mutant of S. scabies RB4 was isolated, which produced no detectable in vitro antibiotic activity and reduced disease caused by its pathogenic parent strain when the pathogen and mutant were coinoculated into soil. Population densities of the pathogen were consistently lower than those of the suppressive strains when individual strains were inoculated into soil. When a pathogen was coinoculated with a suppressive strain, the total streptomycete population density in the pot was always less than that observed when the suppressive isolate was inoculated alone. When the pathogens were inoculated individually into soil, a positive correlation was seen between population density and disease severity. In coinoculation experiments with pathogen and suppressive strains, higher total streptomycete population densities were correlated with lower amounts of disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)332-340
Number of pages9
JournalCanadian Journal of Microbiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2001


  • Antibiotic resistance
  • Biological control
  • Potato scab disease
  • Streptomyces scabies


Dive into the research topics of 'Competition and antibiosis in the biological control of potato scab'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this