Biological Control of Lettuce Drop and Host Plant Colonization by Rhizospheric and Endophytic Streptomycetes.
ABSTRACT: Lettuce drop, caused by the soil borne pathogen Sclerotinia sclerotiorum, is one of the most common and serious diseases of lettuce worldwide. Increased concerns about the side effects of chemical pesticides have resulted in greater interest in developing biocontrol strategies against S. sclerotiorum. However, relatively little is known about the mechanisms of Streptomyces spp. as biological control agents against S. sclerotiorum on lettuce. Two Streptomyces isolates, S. exfoliatus FT05W and S. cyaneus ZEA17I, inhibit mycelial growth of Sclerotinia sclerotiorum by more than 75% in vitro. We evaluated their biocontrol activity against S. sclerotiorum in vivo, and compared them to Streptomyces lydicus WYEC 108, isolated from Actinovate®. When Streptomyces spp. (10(6) CFU/mL) were applied to S. sclerotiorum inoculated substrate in a growth chamber 1 week prior lettuce sowing, they significantly reduced the risk of lettuce drop disease, compared to the inoculated control. Interestingly, under field conditions, S. exfoliatus FT05W and S. cyaneus ZEA17I protected lettuce from drop by 40 and 10% respectively, whereas S. lydicus WYEC 108 did not show any protection. We further labeled S. exfoliatus FT05W and S. cyaneus ZEA17I with the enhanced GFP (EGFP) marker to investigate their rhizosphere competence and ability to colonize lettuce roots using confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM). The abundant colonization of young lettuce seedlings by both strains demonstrated Streptomyces' capability to interact with the host from early stages of seed germination and root development. Moreover, the two strains were detected also on 2-week-old roots, indicating their potential of long-term interactions with lettuce. Additionally, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) observations showed EGFP-S. exfoliatus FT05W endophytic colonization of lettuce root cortex tissues. Finally, we determined its viability and persistence in the rhizosphere and endorhiza up to 3 weeks by quantifying its concentration in these compartments. Based on these results we conclude that S. exfoliatus FT05W has high potential to be exploited in agriculture for managing soil borne diseases barely controlled by available plant protection products.
Project description:The free-living soil fungus Trichoderma hamatum GD12 is notable amongst other Trichoderma strains in exhibiting both biocontrol and plant growth promotion (PGP) activities, which are coincident with a markedly expanded genome when compared to other characterised biocontrol and PGP isolates. Here, we make direct comparisons of T. hamatum GD12 transcription during PGP, and during antagonism of the root-infecting pathogen Sclerotinia sclerotiorum, in peat-based microcosms. An extensive mRNA-seq analysis sampling six time-points, 1, 2, 4, 7, 10 and 15 days after microcosm establishment revealed dynamic and biphasic signatures in the transcriptional responses of T. hamatum GD12 during Sclerotinia biocontrol and lettuce growth promotion. Functional analysis of differentially expressed genes demonstrated up-regulation of transportation and oxidation-reduction genes during both processes. Sclerotinia biocontrol is most likely mediated by the synthesis and secretion of antifungal compounds. Notably, the biphasic response during biocontrol was further characterised by the expression of a number of uncharacterised GD12 genes, small-secreted cysteine rich proteins and secondary metabolite producing gene clusters. This work demonstrates that T. hamatum GD12 harnesses a reservoir of uncharacterised genes that are actively engaged during effective biological control of a plurivorous plant pathogen. Overall design: RNA extracted directly from soil containing lettuce seedlings with either Trichoderma hamatum GD12 alone, T.hamatum GD12 and Sclerotinia sclerotiorum, or S. sclerotiorum alone. RNA was extracted in triplicate at days one, two, four, seven, ten and fifteen and then sequenced using an Illumina HiSeq2500. Two samples were taken in duplicate due to issues with RNA extraction.
Project description:Diseases caused by Sclerotinia sclerotiorum have caused severe losses of many economically important crops worldwide. Due to the long-term persistence of sclerotia in soil and the production of air-borne ascospores, synthetic fungicides play limited roles in controlling the diseases. The application of antagonistic microorganisms can effectively reduce the number of sclerotia and eventually eradicate S. sclerotiorum from soil, and therefore considerable interest has been focused on biological control. Streptomyces sp. NEAU-S7GS2 was isolated from the root of Glycine max and its rhizosphere soil. It showed significant inhibitory activity against the mycelial growth of S. sclerotiorum (99.1%) and completely inhibited sclerotia germination. Compared to the control, in the pot experiment the application of NEAU-S7GS2 not only demonstrated excellent potential to control sclerotinia stem rot of soybean with 77 and 38% decrease in disease incidence and disease index, respectively, but could promote the growth of soybean. The light microscopy and scanning electron microscopy showed that co-culture of NEAU-S7GS2 with S. sclerotiorum on potato dextrose agar could lead to contorted and fragmented mycelia of S. sclerotiorum, which was associated with the secretion of hydrolytic glucanase and cellulase and the production of active secondary metabolites by NEAU-S7GS2. The plant growth promoting activity of NEAU-S7GS2 was related to the solubilization of inorganic phosphate, and production of 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate (ACC) deaminase and indole acetic acid (IAA). To further explore the plant growth promoting and antifungal mechanisms, the complete genome of strain NEAU-S7GS2 was sequenced. Several genes associated with ammonia assimilation, phosphate solubilization and IAA synthesis, together with genes encoding ACC deaminase, glucanase and ?-amylase, were identified. AntiSMASH analysis led to the identification of four gene clusters responsible for the biosynthesis of siderophores including desferrioxamine B and enterobactin. Moreover, the biosynthetic gene clusters of lydicamycins, phenazines, and a glycosylated polyol macrolide showing 88% gene similarity to PM100117/PM100118 were identified. These results suggested that strain NEAU-S7GS2 may be a potential biocontrol agent and biofertilizer used in agriculture.
Project description:A recombinant strain of Sclerotinia sclerotiorum hypovirus 2 (SsHV2) was identified from a North American Sclerotinia sclerotiorum isolate (328) from lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) by high-throughput sequencing of total RNA. The 5'- and 3'-terminal regions of the genome were determined by rapid amplification of cDNA ends. The assembled nucleotide sequence was up to 92% identical to two recently reported SsHV2 strains but contained a deletion near its 5' terminus of more than 1.2 kb relative to the other SsHV2 strains and an insertion of 524 nucleotides (nt) that was distantly related to Valsa ceratosperma hypovirus 1. This suggests that the new isolate is a heterologous recombinant of SsHV2 with a yet-uncharacterized hypovirus. We named the new strain Sclerotinia sclerotiorum hypovirus 2 Lactuca (SsHV2L) and deposited the sequence in GenBank with accession number KF898354. Sclerotinia sclerotiorum isolate 328 was coinfected with a strain of Sclerotinia sclerotiorum endornavirus 1 and was debilitated compared to cultures of the same isolate that had been cured of virus infection by cycloheximide treatment and hyphal tipping. To determine whether SsHV2L alone could induce hypovirulence in S. sclerotiorum, a full-length cDNA of the 14,538-nt viral genome was cloned. Transcripts corresponding to the viral RNA were synthesized in vitro and transfected into a virus-free isolate of S. sclerotiorum, DK3. Isolate DK3 transfected with SsHV2L was hypovirulent on soybean and lettuce and exhibited delayed maturation of sclerotia relative to virus-free DK3, completing Koch's postulates for the association of hypovirulence with SsHV2L.A cosmopolitan fungus, Sclerotinia sclerotiorum infects more than 400 plant species and causes a plant disease known as white mold that produces significant yield losses in major crops annually. Mycoviruses have been used successfully to reduce losses caused by fungal plant pathogens, but definitive relationships between hypovirus infections and hypovirulence in S. sclerotiorum were lacking. By establishing a cause-and-effect relationship between Sclerotinia sclerotiorum hypovirus Lactuca (SsHV2L) infection and the reduction in host virulence, we showed direct evidence that hypoviruses have the potential to reduce the severity of white mold disease. In addition to intraspecific recombination, this study showed that recent interspecific recombination is an important factor shaping viral genomes. The construction of an infectious clone of SsHV2L allows future exploration of the interactions between SsHV2L and S. sclerotiorum, a widespread fungal pathogen of plants.
Project description:The free-living soil fungus Trichoderma hamatum strain GD12 is notable amongst Trichoderma strains in both controlling plant diseases and stimulating plant growth, a property enhanced during its antagonistic interactions with pathogens in soil. These attributes, alongside its markedly expanded genome and proteome compared with other biocontrol and plant growth-promoting Trichoderma strains, imply a rich potential for sustainable alternatives to synthetic pesticides and fertilizers for the control of plant disease and for increasing yields. The purpose of this study was to investigate the transcriptional responses of GD12 underpinning its biocontrol and plant growth promotion capabilities during antagonistic interactions with the pathogen Sclerotinia sclerotiorum in soil. Using an extensive mRNA-seq study capturing different time points during the pathogen-antagonist interaction in soil, we show that dynamic and biphasic signatures in the GD12 transcriptome underpin its biocontrol and plant (lettuce) growth-promoting activities. Functional predictions of differentially expressed genes demonstrate the enrichment of transcripts encoding proteins involved in transportation and oxidation-reduction reactions during both processes and an over-representation of siderophores. We identify a biphasic response during biocontrol characterized by a significant induction of transcripts encoding small-secreted cysteine-rich proteins, secondary metabolite-producing gene clusters and genes unique to GD12. These data support the hypothesis that Sclerotinia biocontrol is mediated by the synthesis and secretion of antifungal compounds and that GD12's unique reservoir of uncharacterized genes is actively recruited during the effective biological control of a plurivorous plant pathogen.
Project description:Biocontrol inoculants often show inconsistency in their efficacy at field scale and the reason for this remains often unclear. A high rhizosphere competence of inoculant strains is assumed to be a key factor for successful biocontrol effects as the biocontrol strain has to compete with the indigenous microbial community in the rhizosphere. It is known that many factors, among them plant species and soil type shape the rhizosphere microbial community composition. However, microbial community composition in the rhizosphere can also be influenced by the presence of a pathogen. We hypothesized that plant species, soil type, and a pathogen affect the rhizosphere competence of a biocontrol strain and its biocontrol effect against a soil-borne pathogen. To test the hypothesis, we used an experimental plot system with three soil types (diluvial sand, alluvial loam, loess loam) kept under similar agricultural management at the same field site for 12 years. We investigate the rhizosphere competence of Pseudomonas sp. RU47 in two plant species (potato and lettuce) and its biocontrol effect against Rhizoctonia diseases. The colonization density of a rifampicin resistant mutant of RU47 in the rhizosphere of both crops was evaluated by plate counts. Bacterial community compositions were analyzed by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) of 16S rRNA gene fragments amplified from total community DNA. The inoculant RU47 was able to colonize the rhizosphere of both model crops in a sufficient density and to reduce disease severity of black scurf on potato and bottom rot on lettuce in all three soils. DGGE indicated that RU47 affected the bacterial community composition stronger in the rhizosphere of lettuce than in the potato rhizosphere. In contrast, the effect of the pathogen Rhizoctonia solani on the bacterial community was much stronger in the rhizosphere of potato than in the lettuce rhizosphere. A significant effect of RU47 on the Pseudomonas-specific gacA fingerprints of the rhizosphere was only observed in lettuce in alluvial soil. The soil type and plant species independent biocontrol effects of RU47 and its minor influence on the indigenous bacterial community composition might be important criteria for the registration and use of RU47 as biocontrol strain.
Project description:Sclerotinia sclerotiorum is a fungal plant pathogen and the causal agent of lettuce drop, an economically important disease of California lettuce. The structure of the S. sclerotiorum mating type locus MAT has previously been reported and consists of two idiomorphs that are fused end-to-end as in other homothallics. We investigated the diversity of S. sclerotiorum MAT using a total of 283 isolates from multiple hosts and locations, and identified a novel MAT allele that differed by a 3.6-kb inversion and was designated Inv+, as opposed to the previously known S. sclerotiorum MAT that lacked the inversion and was Inv-. The inversion affected three of the four MAT genes: MAT1-2-1 and MAT1-2-4 were inverted and MAT1-1-1 was truncated at the 3'-end. Expression of MAT genes differed between Inv+ and Inv- isolates. In Inv+ isolates, only one of the three MAT1-2-1 transcript variants of Inv- isolates was detected, and the alpha1 domain of Inv+ MAT1-1-1 transcripts was truncated. Both Inv- and Inv+ isolates were self-fertile, and the inversion segregated in a 1?1 ratio regardless of whether the parent was Inv- or Inv+. This suggested the involvement of a highly regulated process in maintaining equal proportions of Inv- and Inv+, likely associated with the sexual state. The MAT inversion region, defined as the 3.6-kb MAT inversion in Inv+ isolates and the homologous region of Inv- isolates, was flanked by a 250-bp inverted repeat on either side. The 250-bp inverted repeat was a partial MAT1-1-1 that through mediation of loop formation and crossing over, may be involved in the inversion process. Inv+ isolates were widespread, and in California and Nebraska constituted half of the isolates examined. We speculate that a similar inversion region may be involved in mating type switching in the filamentous ascomycetes Chromocrea spinulosa, Sclerotinia trifoliorum and in certain Ceratocystis species.
Project description:Chitin is a promising soil amendment for improving soil quality, plant growth, and plant resilience. The objectives of this study were twofold. First, to study the effect of chitin mixed in potting soil on lettuce growth and on the survival of two zoonotic bacterial pathogens, Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Salmonella enterica on the lettuce leaves. Second, to assess the related changes in the microbial lettuce rhizosphere, using phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) analysis and amplicon sequencing of a bacterial 16S rRNA gene fragment and the fungal ITS2. As a result of chitin addition, lettuce fresh yield weight was significantly increased. S. enterica survival in the lettuce phyllosphere was significantly reduced. The E. coli O157:H7 survival was also lowered, but not significantly. Moreover, significant changes were observed in the bacterial and fungal community of the lettuce rhizosphere. PLFA analysis showed a significant increase in fungal and bacterial biomass. Amplicon sequencing showed no increase in fungal and bacterial biodiversity, but relative abundances of the bacterial phyla Acidobacteria, Verrucomicrobia, Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, and Proteobacteria and the fungal phyla Ascomycota, Basidiomycota, and Zygomycota were significantly changed. More specifically, a more than 10-fold increase was observed for operational taxonomic units belonging to the bacterial genera Cellvibrio, Pedobacter, Dyadobacter, and Streptomyces and to the fungal genera Lecanicillium and Mortierella. These genera include several species previously reported to be involved in biocontrol, plant growth promotion, the nitrogen cycle and chitin degradation. These results enhance the understanding of the response of the rhizosphere microbiome to chitin amendment. Moreover, this is the first study to investigate the use of soil amendments to control the survival of S. enterica on plant leaves.
Project description:A fungal isolate collected from infected paprika (Capsicum annuum var. grossum) was characterized as Sclerotinia sclerotiorum based on its ability of sclerotium formation, physiological and molecular properties. When the isolate was grown on potato dextrose agar, oatmeal agar, and malt extract agar, it grew most well on PDA. Optimal temperature and pH for its growth were 25? and pH 7, respectively. The fungal isolate produced sclerotia on PDA within 10 days, and the color and shape of the sclerotia were similar to those of S. sclerotiorum . The ITS rDNA regions including ITS1 and ITS2 and 5.8S sequences were amplified using ITS1F and ITS4 primers from the genomic DNAs of the paprika isolate and other known pathogenic S. sclerotiorum isolated from different crops in Korea, and their nucleotide sequences were determined. Sequence comparison analysis showed the ITS rDNA of the paprika isolate shares 100% sequence identity with those of S. sclerotiorum isolated from red pepper, lettuce and a S. sclerotiorum isolate registered in GenBank DNA database. Neighbor joining analysis based on the ITS rDNA sequence revealed the paprika isolate has very close phylogenetic relationships with known Sclerotinia sclerotiorum isolates. This is the first report that S. sclerotiorum has been found associated with paprika rot in paprika growing countries.
Project description:Several Bacillus strains are used as biocontrol agents, as they frequently have strong antagonistic effects against microbial plant pathogens. Bacillus strain SZMC 6179J, isolated from tomato rhizosphere, was previously shown to have excellent in vitro antagonistic properties against the most important fungal pathogens of tomato (Alternaria solani, Botrytis cinerea, Phytophthora infestans and Sclerotinia sclerotiorum) as well as several Fusarium species. Taxonomic investigations revealed that it is a member of the B. subtilis subsp. subtilis group and very closely related with the reference type strain B. subtilis subsp. subtilis 168. The sequenced genome of strain SZMC 6179J contains the genes responsible for the synthesis of the extracellular antibiotics surfactin, fengycin and bacilysin. Compared to strain 168, a prophage-like region is missing from the genome of SZMC 6179J, while there are 106 single nucleotide polymorphisms and 23 deletion-insertion polymorphisms. The high biocontrol potential of strain SZMC 6179J may results from a single base deletion in the sfp gene encoding the transcription factor of the surfactin and fengycin operons. Hypermutated regions reflecting short-time evolutionary processes could be detected in SZMC 6179J. The deletion-insertion polymorphism in the sfp gene and the detected hypermutations can be suggested as genetic determinants of biocontrol features in B. subtilis.
Project description:Rhizosphere competence of bacterial inoculants is assumed to be important for successful biocontrol. Knowledge of factors influencing rhizosphere competence under field conditions is largely lacking. The present study is aimed to unravel the effects of soil types on the rhizosphere competence and biocontrol activity of the two inoculant strains Pseudomonas jessenii RU47 and Serratia plymuthica 3Re4-18 in field-grown lettuce in soils inoculated with Rhizoctonia solani AG1-IB or not. Two independent experiments were carried out in 2011 on an experimental plot system with three soil types sharing the same cropping history and weather conditions for more than 10 years. Rifampicin resistant mutants of the inoculants were used to evaluate their colonization in the rhizosphere of lettuce. The rhizosphere bacterial community structure was analyzed by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis of 16S rRNA gene fragments amplified from total community DNA to get insights into the effects of the inoculants and R. solani on the indigenous rhizosphere bacterial communities. Both inoculants showed a good colonization ability of the rhizosphere of lettuce with more than 10(6) colony forming units per g root dry mass two weeks after planting. An effect of the soil type on rhizosphere competence was observed for 3Re4-18 but not for RU47. In both experiments a comparable rhizosphere competence was observed and in the presence of the inoculants disease symptoms were either significantly reduced, or at least a non-significant trend was shown. Disease severity was highest in diluvial sand followed by alluvial loam and loess loam suggesting that the soil types differed in their conduciveness for bottom rot disease. Compared to effect of the soil type of the rhizosphere bacterial communities, the effects of the pathogen and the inoculants were less pronounced. The soil types had a surprisingly low influence on rhizosphere competence and biocontrol activity while they significantly affected the bottom rot disease severity.