Potassium Tetraborate Tetrahydrate

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potassium tetraborate tetrahydrate is an alkaline salt with excellent buffering properties and consists of white crystalline granules. It is widely used in many areas of industry including aqueous disinfection and detergents.

In aqueous systems, borate salts have a unique water-ionizing capacity which leads to the inhibition of bacterial growth. However, borates also have hydrophobic properties that can disrupt the lipid components of bacterial cell membranes.

Flow cytometry with Syto9 and PI staining was performed to determine the effect of increasing PTB concentrations on bacterial membrane permeability. Bacteria were treated with increasing millimolar concentrations of PTB and the percentage of cells that showed a fluorescence intensity of Syto9 green and PI red, respectively, was measured by flow cytometry.

The results show that PTB increases bacterial membrane permeability to propidium iodide as well as a decrease in the number of surviving bacteria. This is in agreement with previous studies showing that bacterial growth was inhibited by increasing the concentration of borate salts.

PTB salt at 100 mM was clearly bactericidal against Pectobacterium carotovorum and its bactericidal activity was confirmed by TEM, flow cytometry and qPCR. Preventive 1-5-min dip applications of PTB salt at 100 mM significantly reduced lesion diameters in tomato fruit inoculated with P. carotovorum, although no lesions developed in the control groups (Figures 1-3).

Potassium tetraborate is an efficient and safe alternative to prevent soft rot disease of tomato fruits. Moreover, this compound is inexpensive and easily available in most volumes. It has a low melting point and is non-toxic.