Bdellovibrio and like organisms are predatory bacteria that have the unusual property of using the cytoplasmic constituents of other Gram-negative bacteria as nutrients. These predators may thus provide an alternative approach to the biocontrol of human and plant pathogens. Predators were isolated on Burkholderia cenocepacia K56-2 and J2315 as prey cells, in enrichment cultures with soil and sewage. Three isolates (DM7C, DM8A, and DM11A) were identified as Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus on the basis of morphology, a periplasmic life cycle, and 16S rRNA gene sequencing. The prey range of these isolates was tested on Burkholderia cepacia complex bacteria and several phytopathogenic bacteria of agricultural importance. Of 31 strains of the Burkholderia cepacia complex tested, only 4 were resistant to predation by strain DM7C. A subset of 9 of the prey tested were also susceptible to strains DM8A and DM11A. Of 12 phytopathogens tested, 4 were resistant to strains DM7C and DM8A, and only 2 were resistant to strain DM11A. Thus,Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus strains retrieved from environmental samples on 2 Burkholderia cenocepacia isolates from cystic fibrosis patients did not distinguish in their prey range between other isolates of that pathogen or phytopathogens. Such strains hold promise as potential wide-spectrum biocontrol agents.
- Burkholderia cepacia complex