Entomology Seminar: Dr. Einat Zchori-Fein

June 14, 2018 12:00PM - 1:00PM

The Gordon Guyer Conference Room, 244 Natural Science Building

Contact: Ke Dong

"Insect symbionts as bio-control agents against plant pathogens" by Dr. Einat Zchori-Fein, Newe Ya’ar Research Center, Agricultural Research Organization, Israel

Phloem restricted bacterial pathogens pose a major threat in many agricultural crops. Because the conventional application of chemical sprays is inefficient, endophytes have been suggested as a potential reservoir for innovative control approaches. We hypothesized that insects that are involved in the transmission of plant pathogens may harbor microbes that affect disease agents. The study reported is focused on a bacterium that was isolated from the planthopper Hyalesthes obsoletus (Hemiptera: Cixiidae), the insect vector of Bois noir disease. The isolate belongs to a novel bacterium from the family Xanthomonadaceae, for which the name Frateuria defendens sp. nov. is proposed. This isolate could be introduced into a number of healthy and infected crop plants, and its presence in plant tissues was confirmed up to four weeks post inoculation. In the presence of the isolate symptoms of disease-causing bacteria such as Phytoplasma and Liberibacter were reduced in both laboratory and field experiments. Taken together, the results demonstrate that insects that serve as vectors for plant pathogens may be a useful source for potentially beneficial bacteria. 

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Ke Dong

Ke Dong

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