Microbial Populations and Potential Phytotoxicity of Rhizobacteria Isolated from Jamaican Anthurium

in HortScience
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  • 1 1Lincoln Univ. of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211
  • | 2 2USDA-ARS and Univ. of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211

Pesticides are used extensively in ornamental production. Studies of repeated pesticide applications indicate that microbial changes occur in the rhizosphere of the plant. In addition to controlling the target pest, often a population shift of bacteria may occur. This has been previously shown in research associated with leatherleaf fern [Rumohra adiantiformis (Forst.) Ching] and the fungicide benomyl. Rhizobacteria (root-associated bacteria) of anthurium (Anthurium andraeanum) were investigated with respect to total populations and isolates that are potentially phytotoxic. The anthurium sample roots were taken from commercial Jamaican production sites. The sites had either a benomyl or non-benomyl history. Rhizobacterial populations were estimated by dilution plating and subcultures were taken for a phytotoxicity bioassay. Micrographs of samples were prepared to examine treatment effects on the morphology of roots. Rhizobacteria populations were frequently at 106 colony forming units per gram fresh weight. Consistently, greater than 50% of the isolates from each treatment were potentially phytotoxic. However, in the benomyl history samples, there was a greater diversity of phytotoxic isolates.

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