Light is one of the most important environmental signals regulating physiological processes of many microorganisms. However, very few studies have been reported on the qualitative or quantitative effects of light on control of postharvest spoilage using antagonistic bacteria. In this study, we investigated the effects of white, red, green, and blue light at photon flux densities of 40, 240, and 360μmolm-2s-1on Bacillus amyloliquefaciens JBC36 (JBC36), which has been reported as a promising candidate for biocontrol of green and blue mold on mandarin fruit. With the exception of blue light at 240 and 360μmolm-2s-1, light generally stimulated growth of JBC36 compared to the controls grown in the dark. Red light increased swarming motility irrespective of intensity and significantly enhanced biofilm formation at 240μmolm-2s-1. Production of antifungal metabolites and antifungal activity on Penicillium digitatum was also affected by light quality. Interestingly, antifungal activity was significantly increased when JBC36 and P. digitatum was co-incubated under red and green light at an intensity of 240μmolm-2s-1. We also demonstrated that the quality of light resulted in changes in colonization of JBC36 on mandarin fruit and control of green mold. In particular, red light increased the population level on mandarin fruit and biocontrol efficacy against green mold. These results represent the first report on the effect of light quality on an antagonistic bacterium for the control of postharvest spoilage. We believe that an improved understanding of the JBC36 response to light quality may help in the development of strategies to increase biocontrol efficacy of postharvest spoilage. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.
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