ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0127.v1
Subject: Biology, Agricultural Sciences & Agronomy Keywords: plant pathogenic bacterium; phage; bacterial wilt; biological control; lyophilization
Online: 8 December 2021 (14:12:11 CET)
Ralstonia solanacearum is a pathogen that causes bacterial wilt producing severe damage in staple solanaceous crops. Traditional control has low efficacy and/or environmental impact. Recently, the bases of a new biotechnological method by lytic bacteriophages vRsoP-WF2, vRsoP-WM2 and vRsoP-WR2 with specific activity against R. solanacearum were established. However, some aspects remain unknown, such as the survival and maintenance of the lytic activity after submission to a preservation method as the lyophilization. To this end, viability and stability of lyophilized vRsoP-WF2, vRsoP-WM2 and vRsoP-WR2 and their capacity for bacterial wilt biocontrol have been determined against one pathogenic Spanish reference strain of R. solanacearum in susceptible tomato plants in different conditions and making use of various cryoprotectants. The assays carried out have shown satisfactory results with respect to the viability and stability of the bacteriophages after the lyophilization process, maintaining high titres throughout the experimental period, also with respect to the capacity of the bacteriophages for the biological control of bacterial wilt, controlling this disease in more than 50% of the plants. The results offer good prospects for the use of lyophilization as a conservation method for the lytic bacteriophages of R. solanacearum in view of their commercialization as biocontrol agents.