The impacts of cypermethrin pesticide application on the non-target microbial community of the pepper plant phyllosphere

Sci Total Environ. 2009 Mar 1;407(6):1915-22. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2008.11.049. Epub 2009 Jan 9.


Although pesticides have been extensively used for controlling insects and disease pathogens of plants, little is known regarding the impacts of applying these pesticides on the microbial community in the plant phyllosphere. Here, we report the effects of cypermethrin pesticide application upon the microbial community of the pepper plant phyllosphere. Assessments were made using culture-independent techniques including phospholipid fatty acid analysis (PLFA) and 16S rRNA gene directed Polymerase Chain Reaction with Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE). During the 21 day greenhouse study, PLFA results indicated that both total and bacterial biomass increased after application of the pesticide. PLFA profiles also indicated that Gram-negative bacteria became predominant. DGGE analysis confirmed a significant change in bacterial community structure within the phyllosphere following the pesticide application where different dendrogram clusters were observed between control and treated samples. Phylogenetic analysis also suggested a change in bacterial phyla following treatment, where bands sequenced within control cultures were predominantly of the Firmicutes phylum, but those bands sequenced in the treated samples were predominantly members of the Bacteroidetes and gamma-Proteobacteria phyla. In conclusion, this study revealed an increase in bacterial abundance and a shift in community composition within the pepper plant phyllosphere following the pesticide application, and highlighted the effective use of PLFA and PCR-DGGE for studying the effect of pesticides upon indigenous phyllosphere microbes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bacteroidetes / genetics
  • Bacteroidetes / growth & development
  • Base Sequence
  • Biomass
  • Capsicum / microbiology*
  • DNA, Bacterial / chemistry
  • DNA, Bacterial / genetics
  • Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel
  • Fatty Acids / analysis
  • Fatty Acids / metabolism
  • Gammaproteobacteria / genetics
  • Gammaproteobacteria / growth & development
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Pesticides*
  • Phospholipids / analysis
  • Phospholipids / metabolism
  • Phylogeny
  • Plant Diseases / microbiology*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Pyrethrins*
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S / chemistry
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S / genetics


  • DNA, Bacterial
  • Fatty Acids
  • Pesticides
  • Phospholipids
  • Pyrethrins
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S
  • cypermethrin

Associated data

  • GENBANK/EU200325
  • GENBANK/EU200326
  • GENBANK/EU200327
  • GENBANK/EU200328
  • GENBANK/EU200329
  • GENBANK/EU200330
  • GENBANK/EU200331
  • GENBANK/EU200332
  • GENBANK/EU200333
  • GENBANK/EU200334
  • GENBANK/EU200335
  • GENBANK/EU200336
  • GENBANK/EU200337
  • GENBANK/EU200338
  • GENBANK/EU200339
  • GENBANK/EU200340
  • GENBANK/EU200341
  • GENBANK/EU200342
  • GENBANK/EU200343
  • GENBANK/EU200344
  • GENBANK/EU200345
  • GENBANK/EU200346