Kazuyuki Tanno, Kensaku Maejima, Akio Miyazaki, Hiroaki Koinuma, Nozomu Iwabuchi, Yugo Kitazawa, Takamichi Nijo, Masayoshi Hashimoto, Yasuyuki Yamaji, Shigetou Namba


Phytoplasmas are plant-pathogenic bacteria that infect many important crops and cause serious economic losses worldwide. However, owing to an inability to culture phytoplasmas, screening of antimicrobials on media is difficult. The only antimicrobials being used to control phytoplasmas are tetracycline-class antibiotics. In this study, we developed an accurate and efficient screening method to evaluate the effects of antimicrobials using an in vitro plant–phytoplasma co-culture system. We tested 40 antimicrobials, in addition to tetracycline, and four of these (doxycycline, chloramphenicol, thiamphenicol and rifampicin) decreased the accumulation of ‘Candidatus (Ca.) Phytoplasma asteris'. The phytoplasma was eliminated from infected plants by the application of both tetracycline and rifampicin. We also compared nucleotide sequences of rRNAs and amino acid sequences of proteins targeted by antimicrobials between phytoplasmas and other bacteria. Since antimicrobial target sequences were conserved among various phytoplasma species, the antimicrobials that decreased accumulation of ‘Ca. P. asteris' may also have been effective against other phytoplasma species. These approaches will provide new strategies for phytoplasma disease management.

Paper Information

: Microbiology
: 10.1099/mic.0.000681