Pantoea bacteria belong to a large group of organisms of the Enterobacteriaceae family, also called enteric bacilli. All members of Enterobacteriaceae are Gram-negative bacilli or coccobacilli ranging from 0.3 µm to 1.0 µm wide by 0.6 µm to 6.0 µm long. When Gram-stained, all Enterobacteriaceae look alike. Enterobacteriaceae species do not form spores and grow best without oxygen, although they are able to grow with oxygen present in their environment.
Enterobacteriaceae bacteria are found in water, soil, and GI tract of humans and animals. The prefix “entero” refers to the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Thus, the name Enterobacteriaceae implies that members of this family are bacteria having an association with the GI tract.
Enterobacteriaceae are associated with various human and animal diseases, including abscesses, GI tract infections, meningitis, septicemia, pneumonia, urinary tract infections, and wound infections. They are among the most common hospital-acquired infections.
Most GI infections are caused by organisms in four groups (genera): Escherichia, Salmonella, Shigella, and Yersinia, although other members of the family have been implicated in diarrheal diseases.3
To date, the genus Pantoea consists of 22 species and 2 subspecies.
Although members of the genus Pantoea are primarily plant pathogens, they occur in many ecological habitats, including soil, water, dairy products, meat, fish, humans, and animals.
Most strains of Pantoea agglomerans, previously called Enterobacter agglomerans, feed on decaying organic material. Some strains have been shown to be able to survive for 750 hours in seawater. This organism has been recovered from dead mahi-mahi (dolphin fish, Coryphaena hippurus) in which it causes bleeding in the eyes.2
In humans, Pantoea agglomerans have been isolated from wounds that have been acquired through cuts and thorn pricks. Cases of septic arthritis (inflammation of the joint) and osteomyelitis (inflammation of the bone) caused by Pantoea agglomerans have developed after plant thorn injuries and wood splinter injuries.
Most serious infections have occurred in persons with diminished host defenses. Meningitis of the newborn has also been documented. Often, blood poisoning (bacteremia) with Pantoea agglomerans is accompanied by fever, shaking chills, and general toxicity. Eye and skin infections are particularly prominent.4,5
Pantoea agglomerans produces the broad-spectrum antibiotic andrimid. This potent antibiotic kills a wide range of bacteria by blocking a critical step in fatty acid biosynthesis.7,8
Plant surfaces, seeds, human clinical specimens, animals, and raw and frozen vegetables harbor Pantoea agglomerans. In cotton, P.agglomerans causes internal lint rot. Despite no observable external boll damage, damage can be severe. Internal lint damage occurs in bolls tips that formed abnormal fissures or openings nearest the sutures. The bolls may contain abnormal tip structure.
Pantoea dispersa has been isolated from plant surfaces, seeds, and humans.
Pantoea citrea, Pantoea punctata & Pantoea terrea
Pantoea citrea, Pantoea punctata, and Pantoea terrea have been isolated from Japanese mandarin oranges.
Pantoea terrea has also been isolated from soil.
Pantoea ananas has been isolated from pineapples and rice seeds.
Pantoea stewartii has been isolated from grasses, pineapples, and beetles.1,3 It is also the causative agent of Stewart’s wilt and leaf blight in corn. In nature, it is largely dependent on its corn flea beetle vectors, predominantly Chaetocnema pulicaria. It is thought to persist in the alimentary tracts of adult flea beetles that overwinter in the soil, thus enabling its transmission to new plants in the spring.10
Beneficial Association In Plants
Some Pantoea species are beneficial in association with plants. P.vagans is used as a biocontrol agent to protect against fire blight, and P.agglomerans can protect against plant pathogens like Pseudomonas syringae.11
Pantoea In Humans
The human pathogens include species such as P. septica and P. brenneri. Recently, Pantoea anthophila was isolated from hypersaline water from the lake on Laysan, Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.
- Martin Dworkin, Stanley Falkow – The Prokaryotes: A Handbook On The Biology Of Bacteria: Proteobacteria: Gamma Subclass
- Brian Austin, Dawn A. Austin – Bacterial Fish Pathogens: Disease Of Farmed And Wild Fish
- Paul G. Engelkirk, Janet L. Duben-Engelkirk – Laboratory Diagnosis Of Infectious Diseases: Essentials Of Diagnostic Microbiology
- Julia A. McMillan, Ralph D. Feigin, Catherine DeAngelis, M. Douglas Jones – Oski’s Pediatrics: Principles & Practice
- C. A. Brebbia – Environmental Health Risk V
- Junhua Tao, Guo-Qiang Lin, Andréas Liese – Biocatalysis For The Pharmaceutical Industry: Discovery, Development, And Manufacturing
- Liu et al. – Andrimid Producers Encode An Acetyl-CoA Carboxyltransferase Subunit Resistant To The Action Of The Antibiotic
- Unusual Catalyst May Yield Better Andrimid Analogs
- First Report Of Cotton Lint Rot By Pantoea Agglomerans In Georgia
- Correa et al. – The Bacterium Pantoea Stewartii Uses Two Different Type III Secretion Systems To Colonize Its Plant Host And Insect Vector, Appl Environ Microbiol. 2012 Sep; 78(17): 6327–6336.
- Bible et al. – A Carotenoid-Deficient Mutant In Pantoea Sp. YR343, A Bacteria Isolated From The Rhizosphere Of Populus Deltoides, Is Defective In Root Colonization, Front Microbiolv.7; 2016
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