Editor: Aharon Oren
Assessing the impact of the biological control agent Bacillus thuringiensis on the indigenous microbial community within the pepper plant phyllosphere
Article first published online: 6 MAY 2008
© 2008 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved
FEMS Microbiology Letters
Volume 284, Issue 1, pages 102–108, July 2008
How to Cite
Zhang, B., Bai, Z., Hoefel, D., Tang, L., Yang, Z., Zhuang, G., Yang, J. and Zhang, H. (2008), Assessing the impact of the biological control agent Bacillus thuringiensis on the indigenous microbial community within the pepper plant phyllosphere. FEMS Microbiology Letters, 284: 102–108. doi: 10.1111/j.1574-6968.2008.01178.x
- Issue published online: 7 MAY 2008
- Article first published online: 6 MAY 2008
- Received 1 February 2008; accepted 20 March 2008.First published online 6 May 2008.
- Bacillus thuringiensis;
- phospholipid fatty acids;
- 16S rRNA genes
Although biological control agents (BCAs) have been used extensively for controlling insects and pathogens of plants, little is known regarding the effects of such agents on the indigenous microbial communities within the plant phyllosphere. We assessed the effect of the BCA Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) on the microbial communities within the pepper plant phyllosphere using culture-independent methodologies. Phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) analysis suggested that the bacterial and fungal biomass were not significantly affected following Bt application. However, principal component analysis of PLFA data indicated that Bt did change the phyllosphere microbial community structure significantly. 16S rRNA gene-directed PCR with denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) also suggested a significant change in the phyllosphere bacterial community structure following Bt inoculation. Phylogenetic analysis of excised DGGE bands suggested a change in bacterial phyla; bands from untreated samples predominantly belonged to the Firmicutes, while Gammaproteobacteria abounded in the treated samples.