Main content area

Combining the oomycete Pythium oligandrum with two other antagonistic fungi: Root relationships and tomato grey mold biocontrol

Le Floch, Gaétan, Vallance, Jessica, Benhamou, Nicole, Rey, Patrice
Biological control 2009 v.50 no.3 pp. 288-298
spatial distribution, plant pathogenic fungi, tomatoes, fungal antagonists, rhizosphere, Botrytis cinerea, fungal diseases of plants, disease severity, Trichoderma lixii, leaves, Fusarium oxysporum, hyphae, microbial colonization, resistance mechanisms, induced resistance, pathogenesis-related proteins, biological control, Solanum lycopersicum var. lycopersicum, Pythium oligandrum, root systems, protein synthesis, disease incidence
To reduce Pythium oligandrum biocontrol variability and improve its efficacy, experiments were performed by combining the oomycete with two other antagonistic fungi, Fusarium oxysporum strain Fo47 and Trichoderma harzianum. In Petri dishes, Fo47 or T. harzianum hyphae destroyed P. oligandrum cells by antibiosis and mycoparasitism processes; in the rhizosphere of tomato plants (Lycopersicon esculentum), the same antagonistic features were observed. However, in the rhizosphere, hyphae are frequently separated by a certain distance; this allows the coexistence and the persistence of the three microorganisms on the root systems. When introduced in the rhizosphere, Fo47 and P. oligandrum were able to penetrate the root tissues with Fo47 limited to the epidermal and upper layers of cortical cells while P. oligandrum colonized deeper tissue at a faster rate. The two antagonists were killed in few days within roots following elicited plant-defense reactions. T. harzianum was not able to penetrate root tissues. Root colonization with either P. oligandrum alone or in combination with Fo47 and/or T. harzianum resulted in systemic plant resistance which provided plant protection against Botrytis cinerea infection of leaves. The level of control and the expression of pathogenesis-related proteins (PR-proteins) in leaves were similar whatever the antagonistic microbial treatment applied to roots.