Induction of Wheat Resistance to STB by the Endophytic Fungus Serendipita indica and Pseudomonas protegens

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Plant Protection, Faculty of Plant Production, Gorgan University of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Gorgan, Iran

2 Plant Protection Department, Sari Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources University, Mazandaran, Iran

3 Department of Biotechnology & Plant breeding, Faculty of Plant Production, Gorgan University of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Golestan, Iran

4 Professor of Department of Fundamental Microbiology, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland


Background: Septoria tritici blotch (STB) caused by fungus Zymoseptoria tritici, is one of the important wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) diseases difficult to control because of the lack of wheat resistant cultivars. The use of biological control agents is one possible way for triggering host plant resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses. Objective: In this study, we examined the ability of Serendipita indica and Pseudomonas protegens CHA0-mCherry in inducing the local wheat cultivar Tajan resistance to STB. Materials and Methods: The interaction between biological control agents and the roots of wheat was evaluated. The experiment was conducted in a completely randomized design by three replicates. Spore suspension was supplied at concentrations of 107 and 109 for S. indica and bacteria isolate (CHA0-mCherry) respectively. Five treatments were applied including S. indica, CHA0-mCherry, S. indica and CHA0-mCherry co-inoculation, positive and negative control. Twentyone days after inoculation, the interaction between biological agents and plant roots were evaluated through morphological traits and qPCR. The plant resistance, disease severity, and the correlation between resistance and disease severity were assessed. Pycnidial variation and agronomic traits were also evaluated. Results: Twenty-one days after inoculation, both biological agents clearly colonized all treated roots of all treatments except in control plants as demonstrated by qPCR analysis. Chlamydospores were observed in the S. indica-treated hosts with the CHA0-mCherry colonizing assessment showing 5×109 CFU g-1 in the root. The asexual phase of the fungal pathogen, pycnidial diameter, was reduced in S. indica treated plants more considerably than in the other treatments. There was a positive correlation between resistance and disease severity mean when calculated by Pearson’s correlation. There was a significant difference between the root length, fresh, and dry weight of root. Spore density was inversely correlated to resistance and disease severity, when compared with control, with CHA0-mCherry being the most effective in reducing the spore density. S. indica was the most effective in promoting root growth and stem biomass, when compared with control. Conclusions: Serendipita indica and Pseudomonas protegens CHA0-mCherry colonies showed a potential biological control activity and efficiently enhanced the plant resistance to Z. tritici in the treated wheat roots. The microbial biological control agents are very practical in crop protection against plant disease and can be very useful in sustainable agriculture. Abbreviations: PLSN: percentage of leave surface necrosis, DPI: day past inoculation, PLACL: percentage of leaf area covered by lesions, PPMLA: pycnidia per millimeter in leaf area.


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