Biocidal activity in plant pathogenic Acidovorax, Burkholderia, Herbaspirillum, Ralstonia and Xanthomonas spp.


Young Landcare Research, Private Bag 92170, Auckland, New Zealand (e-mail:


Antibacterial and antifungal activity was investigated for strains of Acidovorax spp., Burkholderia spp., Herbaspirillum rubrisubalbicans and Ralstonia solanacearum; strains representing 118 species and pathovars of Xanthomonas were also tested for phytotoxic capacity. Antibacterial activity was present in all Burkholderia spp. except B. andropogonis, in biovars II and III of R. solanacearum but not in biovars I and IV, and in two strains of Xanthomonas. Little antibacterial activity was recorded for Acidovorax spp. Antifungal activity was expressed by most strains of A. avenae ssp. avenae and A. avenae ssp. cattleyae. Weak or variable antifungal reactions were given by strains of A. avenae ssp. citrulli and no activity was expressed by A. konjaci. Most strains of B. caryophylli, B. cepacia, B. gladioli pv. agaricicola, B. gladioli pv. alliicola,B. gladioli pv. gladioli, B. glumae and B. plantari produced extensive inhibition zones against Rhodotorula mucilaginosa. Strains of H. rubrisubalbicans and R. solanacearum gave negative, weak or variable reactions. Strains of Xanthomonas spp. exhibited no antifungal activity. In all cases antifungal activity was caused by a low molecular weight toxin. Three Xanthomonas strains exhibited phytotoxic activity. The ecological implications of these data are discussed.