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Keywords:

  • biocontrol;
  • flow cytometry;
  • formulation;
  • Pichia anomala;
  • trehalose;
  • viability

Abstract

Aims:  Investigate the survival of liquid formulations of the biocontrol yeast Pichia anomala J121 at different temperatures, and develop a system for comparative studies of different storage conditions and formulations.

Methods and Results:  The survival of P. anomala in liquid formulations with lactose, starch and trehalose amendments was measured during prolonged storage at temperatures ranging from −20 to +30°C. The relative survival of the stored cells was rapidly estimated by flow cytometry. After 4 weeks incubation at 4 and 10°C, 75–90% of the cells were viable, with no significant differences between the various formulations. Supplementing the storage buffer with lactose or trehalose increased the survival after longer incubations (8 and 12 weeks) at all temperatures (−20 to 30°C). Trehalose was the most effective protectant at 20 and 30°C (>20% viable cells after 12 weeks at 20°C). The biocontrol activity was maintained after formulation and prolonged storage of P. anomala.

Conclusions:  The storage potential of liquid formulated P. anomala cells can be increased by supplementation with lactose or trehalose. The combination of a custom made incubation chamber and flow cytometry was suitable to evaluate stability of P. anomala formulations.

Significance and Impact of the Study:  Liquid formulated P. anomala have a long shelf life. The developed test system can be used to study different formulations of other biocontrol agents.