Leaf-tip necrosis of micropropagated statice plantlets is a serious problem in commercial laboratories in Taiwan. Endophytic bacteria were detected in plantlets obtained from commercial laboratories with a leaf-tip necrosis problem. Endophytic bacteria were detected in flower stalks collected from four different statice farms at frequencies ranging from 61 to 100%. All plantlets regenerated from flower-stalk explants that tested free of endophytic bacteria did not develop leaf-tip necrosis. The most frequently detected endophytic bacteria were Pasteurella multocida, Stenotrophomonas maltophilia, and Alcaligenes sp. Most endophytic bacteria in statice plantlets were eliminated by the subculture of plantlets on medium with augmentin, cefotaxime, or augmentin plus cefotaxime. Those plantlets freed from endophytic bacteria by subculture on antibiotic-amended medium did not develop leaf-tip necrosis. Our results show that leaf-tip necrosis of micropropagated statice plantlets is associated with endophytic bacteria, and that the disease can be controlled by using explants pre-tested to be free from endophytic bacteria or by the subculture of affected plantlets on antibiotic-amended medium.
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Vol. 41 • No. 4