The microbial community inhabiting a plant’s root zone plays a crucial role in plant health and protection. To assess the ability of commercial plant growth-promoting products to enhance the positive effects of this environment, two products containing beneficial soil bacteria and a product containing plant extracts were tested on Zantedeschia aethiopica and Ornithogalum dubium. The products were tested in two different growing media: a soil and a soilless medium. The effects of these products on Pectobacterium brasiliense, the causal agent of soft rot disease, were also evaluated in vitro, and on naturally occurring infections in the greenhouse. The growing medium was found to have the strongest effect on the microbial diversity of the root-associated microbiome, with the next-strongest effect due to plant type. These results demonstrate that either a single bacterial strain or a product will scarcely reach the level that is required to influence soil microbial communities. In addition, the microbes cultured from these products, could not directly inhibit Pectobacterium growth in vitro. We suggest density-based and functional analyses in the future, to study the specific interactions between plants, soil type, soil microbiota and relevant pathogens. This should increase the effectiveness of bio-supplements and soil disinfestation with natural products, leading to more sustainable, environmentally friendly solutions for the control of bacterial plant diseases.
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- Ornithogalum dubium
- Soil mix
- Zantedeschia aethiopica