Phage combination therapies for bacterial wilt disease in tomato

Xiaofang Wang, Zhong Wei, Keming Yang, Jiangning Wang, Alexandre Jousset, Yangchun Xu, Qirong Shen, Ville-Petri Friman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Bacteriophage have been proposed as an alternative to pesticides to kill bacterial pathogens of crops. However, the efficacy of phage-biocontrol is variable and poorly understood in natural rhizosphere microbiomes at timescales considering both ecological and evolutionary processes.
We studied the biocontrol efficacy of different phage combinations on Ralstonia solanacearum infection in tomato. Increasing the number of phages in combinations decreased disease incidence by up to 80% in greenhouse and field experiments during single crop season. Decrease in disease incidence was explained by pathogen density reduction and selection for phage resistant but slow-growing pathogen strains, together with enrichment for bacterial species that were antagonistic towards Ralstonia solanacearum. Phage treatment did not affect existing rhizosphere microbiota. Specific phage combinations show promise as precision tools to engineer microbiomes and to control plant pathogenic bacteria
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1513-1520
JournalNature Biotechnology
Early online date2 Dec 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Dec 2019

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