Growth of bacterial phytopathogens in animal manures

  • Wojciech Sledz Department of Biotechnology, Intercollegiate Faculty of Biotechnology, University of Gdansk and Medical University of Gdansk, Gdańsk, Poland
  • Sabina Zoledowska Department of Biotechnology, Intercollegiate Faculty of Biotechnology, University of Gdansk and Medical University of Gdansk, Gdańsk, Poland
  • Agata Motyka Department of Biotechnology, Intercollegiate Faculty of Biotechnology, University of Gdansk and Medical University of Gdansk, Gdańsk, Poland
  • Leszek Kadzinski Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology Intercollegiate Faculty of Biotechnology, University of Gdansk and Medical University of Gdansk, Gdansk, Poland
  • Bogdan Banecki Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology Intercollegiate Faculty of Biotechnology, University of Gdansk and Medical University of Gdansk, Gdansk, Poland
Keywords: plant protection, Ralstonia solanacearum, Xanthomonas campestris, Pectobacterium spp.


Animal manures are routinely applied to agricultural lands to improve crop yield, but the possibility to spread bacterial phytopathogens during field fertilizing has not been considered yet. We monitored 49 cattle, horse, swine, sheep or chicken manure samples collected in 14 Polish voivodeships for the most important plant pathogenic bacteria - Ralstonia solanacearum (Rsol), Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris (Xcc), Pectobacterium carotovorum subsp. carotovorum (Pcc), Pectobacterium atrosepticum (Pba), Erwinia amylovora, Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. sepedonicus and Dickeya sp. All tested animal fertilizers were free of these pathogens. Subsequently, the growth dynamics of Pba, Pcc, Rsol, and Xcc in cattle, horse, swine, sheep and chicken manures sterilized either by autoclaving or filtration was evaluated. Investigated phytopathogens did not exhibit any growth in the poultry manure. However, the manure filtrates originating from other animals were suitable for microbial growth, resulting in the optical density change ranging 0.03 - 0.22, depending on bacterial species and the manure source. Pcc and Pba multiplied most efficiently in the cattle manure filtrate. These bacteria grew faster than Rsol and Xcc in all tested manure samples, both filtrates and the autoclaved semi-solid ones. Though, the growth dynamics of investigated strains in different animal fertilizers was unequal, all tested bacterial plant pathogens were proven to use cattle, horse, swine and sheep manures as the sources of nutrients. These findings may contribute to further research on the alternative routes of spread of bacterial phytopathogens, especially because of the fact that the control of pectionolytic bacteria is based only on prevention methods.


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