Journal Article

Role of ethylene in the protection of tomato plants against soil-borne fungal pathogens conferred by an endophytic <i>Fusarium solani</i> strain

Nektarios Kavroulakis, Spyridon Ntougias, Georgios I. Zervakis, Constantinos Ehaliotis, Kosmas Haralampidis and Kalliope K. Papadopoulou

in Journal of Experimental Botany

Published on behalf of Society for Experimental Biology

Volume 58, issue 14, pages 3853-3864
Published in print November 2007 | ISSN: 0022-0957
Published online November 2007 | e-ISSN: 1460-2431 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jxb/erm230

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An endophytic fungal isolate (Fs-K), identified as a Fusarium solani strain, was obtained from root tissues of tomato plants grown on a compost which suppressed soil and foliar pathogens. Strain Fs-K was able to colonize root tissues and subsequently protect plants against the root pathogen Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. radicis-lycopersici (FORL), and elicit induced systemic resistance against the tomato foliar pathogen Septoria lycopersici. Interestingly, attenuated expression of certain pathogenesis-related genes, i.e. PR5 and PR7, was detected in tomato roots inoculated with strain Fs-K compared with non-inoculated plants. The expression pattern of PR genes was either not affected or aberrant in leaves. A genetic approach, using mutant tomato plant lines, was used to determine the role of ethylene and jasmonic acid in the plant's response to infection by the soil-borne pathogen F. oxysporum f.sp. radicis-lycopersici (FORL), in the presence or absence of isolate Fs-K. Mutant tomato lines Never ripe (Nr) and epinastic (epi1), both impaired in ethylene-mediated plant responses, inoculated with FORL are not protected by isolate Fs-K, indicating that the ethylene signalling pathway is required for the mode of action used by the endophyte to confer resistance. On the contrary, def1 mutants, affected in jasmonate biosynthesis, show reduced susceptibility to FORL, in the presence Fs-K, which suggests that jasmonic acid is not essential for the mediation of biocontrol activity of isolate Fs-K.

Keywords: Biocontrol; endophyte; ethylene; induced systemic resistance; jasmonic acid; Solanum lycopersicum

Journal Article.  7194 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry

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