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Role of Prodigiosin and Chitinases in Antagonistic Activity of the Bacterium Serratia marcescens against the Fungus Didymella applanata

A. B. Duzhak1*, Z. I. Panfilova1, T. G. Duzhak2,3, E. A. Vasyunina1, and M. V. Shternshis4

1Institute of Cytology and Genetics, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, pr. Lavrent’eva 10, 630090 Novosibirsk, Russia; E-mail: abduzhak@mail.ru

2The University of Kansas, 2121 Simons Drive, Lawrence, KS 66047 USA

3International Tomography Center, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, ul. Institutskaya 3a, 630090 Novosibirsk, Russia

4Novosibirsk State Agrarian University, ul. Dobrolubova 160, 630039 Novosibirsk, Russia

* To whom correspondence should be addressed.

Received March 21, 2012
The molecular features of antagonism of the bacterium Serratia marcescens against the plant pathogenic fungus Didymella applanata have been studied. The chitinases and the red pigment prodigiosin (PG) of S. marcescens were isolated and characterized. Specific antifungal activity of the purified PG and chitinases against D. applanata was tested in vitro. The antagonistic properties of several S. marcescens strains exhibiting different levels of PG and chitinase production were analyzed in vitro with regard to D. applanata. It was found that the ability of S. marcescens to suppress the vital functions of D. applanata depends mainly on the level of PG production, whereas chitinase production does not provide the bacterium with any competitive advantage over the fungus.
KEY WORDS: Serratia marcescens, Didymella applanata, antagonism, chitinase, prodigiosin

DOI: 10.1134/S0006297912080123