Bacterial fruit blotch (BFB) is an economically important disease in melons and watermelons for which no effective control method is available. Application of phytobacterium-infecting phage has been evaluated as an alternative means of preventing bacterial diseases in plants. Coating of seeds with bacteriophages infecting Acidovorax citrulli
, the causal agent of BFB, is effective for controlling the disease, as shown in our previous study. We evaluated the transport of bacteriophage ACPWH from soil to the leaves of melon plants, and we also evaluated its effect on BFB. Leaves of melon plants were spray-inoculated with A. citrulli
, and bacteriophage ACPWH was added to soil after symptoms had developed. ACPWH was detected by PCR in foliar tissue 8 h after addition to soil. DAPI-stained ACPWH accumulated at the leaf tip after 24 h. Melon treated with ACPWH showed 27% disease severity, compared to 80% for the non-treated control, indicating that ACPWH can be used to control BFB.
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