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Biocontrol of phytobacteria with bacteriophage cocktails

Kering, Kelvin K, Kibii, Belindah J, Wei, Hongping
Pest management science 2019 v.75 no.7 pp. 1775-1781
bacteria, bacteriophages, biological control, crop losses, host range, monitoring, pest management, plant diseases and disorders, plant pathogens
Crop loss due to plant pathogens has provoked renewed interest in bacteriophages as a feasible biocontrol strategy of plant diseases. Phage cocktails in particular present a viable option for broadening the phage host range, limiting the emergence of bacterial resistance while maintaining the lytic activity of the phages. It is therefore important that the design used to formulate a phage cocktail should result in the most effective cocktail against the pathogen. It is also critical that certain factors are considered during the formulation and application of a phage cocktail: their stability, the production time and cost of complex cocktails, the potential impact on untargeted bacteria, the timing of phage application, and the persistence in the plant environment. Continuous monitoring is required to ensure that the efficacy of a cocktail is sustained due to the dynamic nature of phages. Although phage cocktails are considered as a plausible biocontrol strategy of phytobacteria, more research needs to be done to understand the complex interaction between phages and bacteria in the plant environment, and to overcome the technical obstacles. © 2019 Society of Chemical Industry