The biocontrol agent Lactiplantibacillus plantarum AMBP214 is dispersible to plants via bumblebees
Abstract: Effective establishment and spread of microbial biocontrol agents in the field is a persistent challenge. Entomovectoring, the dispersal of these agents via pollinators, presents a promising solution to this problem. Here, we showed that Lactiplantibacillus plantarum AMBP214 is a promising biocontrol agent with strong activity against fungal and bacterial pathogens that can be dispersed to flowers via bumblebees. When released into a greenhouse, the bumblebees effectively delivered L. plantarum AMBP214 to strawberry flowers, resulting in high bacterial abundances (on average 1 × 105 CFUs per flower) and consistent coverage across all sampled flowers. This is the first report of combining lactobacilli with entomovectoring and shows high potential for effective and sustainable management of plant diseases.