Biological Control of Plant Diseases by Serratia Species: A Review or a Case Study
Pp. 99-115 (17)
Dipanwita Saha, Gargi Dhar Purkayastha and Aniruddha Saha
Plant pathogens pose a substantial threat to the production stability and the maintenance of
quality of food, feed, fibre and now fuel. Certain bacterial strains have the capacity to prevent plant diseases
in natural environments and may be used to replace chemical control measures now prevalent but
potentially hazardous. Members of the genus Serratia, a gram negative bacterium which has been found to
be frequently associated with rhizosphere of several plants has been studied for biocontrol mechanisms and
application procedures. Some selected strains of S. plymuthica, S. marcescens and S. liquefaciens have been
found to reduce disease severity to a desirable extent using specific application strategies. How Serratia
achieves this ability for protection against pathogenic fungi has been discussed in detail. These strains
produce antibiotics such as the red pigment prodigiosin and pyrrolnitrin. Besides they produce chitinases
and siderophores which help to limit fungal growth. Regulatory processes at transcriptional and post
transcriptional levels control the production of autoinducer signal molecules and the antibiotic pyrrolnitrin.
Induced systemic resistance is another important mechanism involved in biological control of root
pathogens by Serratia species.
Biological control, Serratia spp., plant disease, antibiotics, chitinase, ISR.
Department of Biotechnology and Department of Botany, University of North Bengal, Siliguri- 734013, India