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Colonization and bioherbicidal activity on green foxtail by Pseudomonas fluorescens BRG100 in a pesta formulation

Caldwell, C.J., Hynes, R.K., Boyetchko, S.M., Korber, D.R. (2012). Colonization and bioherbicidal activity on green foxtail by Pseudomonas fluorescens BRG100 in a pesta formulation, 58(1), 1-9. http://dx.doi.org/10.1139/W11-109

Abstract

Pseudomonas fluorescens BRG100 produces secondary metabolites with herbicidal activity on green foxtail (Setaria viridis), an important weed pest in Canadian agriculture. Five gfp transformants of P. fluorescens BRG100 were compared with the wild-type isolate for green foxtail root herbicide activity, i.e., root growth suppression, doubling time, carbon utilization, and colonization of green foxtail root (proximal and distal regions). The most revealing comparison between the wild type and its gfp transformants was herbicidal activity on green foxtail. Herbicidal activity of transformant gfp-7 was not significantly different from the uninoculated control, suggesting that insertion of the gfp gene may have interfered with a gene, or genes, vital to the bioherbicide process. Doubling time, carbon utilization, and colonization of green foxtail did not differ to a great extent between the wild type and the gfp transformants, indicating their suitability as conservatively tagged organisms for subsequent colonization-herbicidal activity studies. Accordingly, a pesta granule formulation delivered transformant gfp-2 to the seed coat and roots of green foxtail. Epifluorescent and confocal laser scanning microscopy revealed the transformant gfp-2 colonized the ventral portion of the seed coat, root hairs, and all areas of the root except the root cap region, where gfp-2 presumably exerted herbicidal effects. These results suggest that P. fluorescens BRG100 has considerable potential as a bioherbicide because of its successful colonization and suppressive activity on green foxtail root growth.

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