Pseudomonas species isolated via high-throughput screening significantly protect cotton plants against verticillium wilt

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Abstract

Verticillium wilt (VW) caused by Verticillium dahliae is a devastating soil-borne disease that causes severe yield losses in cotton and other major crops worldwide. Here we conducted a high-throughput screening of isolates recovered from 886 plant rhizosphere samples taken from the three main cotton-producing areas of China. Fifteen isolates distributed in different genera of bacteria that showed inhibitory activity against V. dahliae were screened out. Of these, two Pseudomonas strains, P. protegens XY2F4 and P. donghuensis 22G5, showed significant inhibitory action against V. dahliae. Additional comparative genomic analyses and phenotypical assays confirmed that P. protegens XY2F4 and P. donghuensis 22G5 were the strains most efficient at protecting cotton plants against VW due to specific biological control products they produced. Importantly, we identified a significant efficacy of the natural tropolone compound 7-hydroxytropolone (7-HT) against VW. By phenotypical assay using the wild-type 22G5 and its mutant strain in 7-HT production, we revealed that the 7-HT produced by P. donghuensis is the major substance protecting cotton against VW. This study reveals that Pseudomonas specifically has gene clusters that allow the production of effective antipathogenic metabolites that can now be used as new agents in the biocontrol of VW.

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Tao, X., Zhang, H., Gao, M., Li, M., Zhao, T., & Guan, X. (2020). Pseudomonas species isolated via high-throughput screening significantly protect cotton plants against verticillium wilt. AMB Express, 10(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13568-020-01132-1

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