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Characterization and control of endophytic bacterial contaminants in in vitro cultures of Piper spp., Taxus baccata subsp. wallichiana, and Withania somnifera

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Bacterial contamination is a serious problem that causes severe loss of in vitro grown cultures of a number of plants. This problem becomes even more acute if the bacterial contamination is of endophytic origin. In such cases, identification and characterization of the contaminants is essential for achieving specific control of the contaminants through selective use of antibiotic agents, especially if the routinely used contamination control methods practiced elsewhere in tissue culture studies are ineffective. Such is the case with the bacterial contamination observed in the present study. The five endophytic bacteria associated with Piper nigrum and Piper colubrinum, four endophytic bacteria associated with Taxus baccata subsp. wallichiana, two endophytic bacteria associated with Withania somnifera, and two bacteria common to all these plant species were isolated and characterized based on morphological and biochemical tests. Their taxonomic positions based on similarity indices were determined. A control strategy against these bacteria has been developed based on bacteriostatic or bactericidal actions of 12 antibiotics at three different concentrations by solid and liquid antibiogramme assays.Key words: antibiotics, endophytic bacterial contamination, identification, Piper nigrum, Piper colubrinum, Taxus baccata subsp. wallichiana, Withania somnifera.

La contamination bactérienne constitue un problème sérieux qui cause des pertes importantes dans les cultures in vitro d'un grand nombre de plantes. Ce problème devient encore plus aigu si la contamination est endophyte. Dans de tels cas, l'identification et la caractérisation des contaminants sont essentielles au contrôle spécifique des ces contaminants par l'utilisation sélective d'antibiotiques, spécialement si les méthodes de contrôle des contaminants normalement employées en culture de tissus sont inefficaces. Tel était le cas de la contamination bactérienne observée au cours de la présente étude. Cinq bactéries endophytes associées à Piper nigrum et Piper colubrinum, quatre bactéries endophytes associées à Taxus baccata subsp. wallichiana, deux bactéries endophytes associées à Withania somnifera et deux bactéries communes à toutes ces espèces de plantes ont été isolées et caractérisées selon des critères morphologiques et biochimiques. Leurs positions taxonomiques basées sur des indices de similarité ont été déterminées. Une stratégie de contrôle de ces bactéries a été développée en fonction de l'activité bactéricide/bactériostatique de douze antibiotiques utilisés à trois concentrations dans des antibiogrammes liquides et solides.Mots clés : antibiotiques, contamination bactérienne endophyte, identification, Piper nigrum, Piper colubrinum, Taxus baccata subsp. wallichiana, Withania somnifera.[Traduit par la Rédaction]

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2007

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  • Published since 1954, this monthly journal contains new research in the field of microbiology including applied microbiology and biotechnology; microbial structure and function; fungi and other eucaryotic protists; infection and immunity; microbial ecology; physiology, metabolism and enzymology; and virology, genetics, and molecular biology. It also publishes review articles and notes on an occasional basis, contributed by recognized scientists worldwide.
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