Interactions and biocontrol of pathogenic Streptomyces strains co-occurring in potato scab lesions


Jari Valkonen, Department of Applied Biology, University of Helsinki, PO Box 27, FIN-00014, Helsinki, Finland.


Aims:  To test interactions between pathogenic strains of Streptomyces turgidiscabies, S. scabies and S. aureofaciens. To study biological control of S. turgidiscabies and S. scabies using the nonpathogenic Streptomyces strain (346) isolated from a scab lesion and a commercially available biocontrol agent (S. griseoviridis strain K61; ‘Mycostop’).

Methods and Results:  Pathogenic strains of S. turgidiscabies and S. aureofaciens inhibited growth of S. scabies in vitro, whereas strain 346 and S. griseoviridis inhibited the pathogenic strains and were subsequently tested for control of scab in the greenhouse and field. Strains 346 and K61 suppressed development of common scab disease caused by S. turgidiscabies in the greenhouse. Strain 346 reduced incidence of S. turgidiscabies in scab lesions on potato tubers in the field.

Conclusions: Streptomyces turgidiscabies shows antagonism against S. scabies that occurs in the same scab lesions and shares the ecological niche in the field. Biocontrol of S. turgidiscabies is possible with nonpathogenic Streptomyces strains but interactions may be complicated.

Significance and Impact of the Study: Streptomyces turgidiscabies may have potential to displace S. scabies under the Scandinavian potato growing conditions. Biological control of the severe potato scab pathogen, S. turgidiscabies, is demonstrated for the first time. The results can be applied to enhance control of common scab.