Systemic resistance induced in Arabidopsis thaliana by Trichoderma asperellum SKT-1, a microbial pesticide of seedborne diseases of rice



BACKGROUND:Trichoderma asperellum SKT-1 is a microbial pesticide of seedborne diseases of rice. To investigate the mechanisms of disease suppression in SKT-1, the ability to induce systemic resistance by SKT-1, or its cell-free culture filtrate (CF), was tested using Arabidopsis thaliana Col-0 plants.

RESULTS: Both SKT-1 and its CF elicit an induced systemic resistance against the bacterial leaf speck pathogen Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC3000 in Col-0 plants. Involvement of plant hormones in the induced resistance by SKT-1 and CF was assessed using Arabidopsis genotypes such as the jasmonic acid (JA)-resistant mutant jar1, the ethylene (ET)-resistant mutant etr1, the plant impaired in salicylic acid (SA) signalling transgenic NahG and the mutant npr1 impaired in NPR1 activity. In soil experiments using SKT-1, no significant disease suppression effect was observed in NahG transgenic plants or npr1 mutant plants. Expression levels of SA-inducible genes such as PR-1, PR-2 and PR-5 increased substantially in the leaves of Col-0 plants. Expression levels of JA/ET-induced genes such as PDF1.2a, PR-3, PR-4 and AtVsp1 were also induced, but the levels were not as high as for SA-inducible genes. In a hydroponic experiment using CF from SKT-1, all Arabidopsis genotypes showed an induced systemic resistance by CF and increased expression levels of JA/ET- and SA-inducible genes in leaves of CF-treated plants.

CONCLUSION: The SA signalling pathway is important in inducing systemic resistance to colonisation by SKT-1, and both SA and JA/ET signalling pathways combine in the signalling of induced resistance by CF. These results indicate that the response of A. thaliana is different from that found in root treatments with barley grain inoculum and CF from SKT-1. Copyright © 2011 Society of Chemical Industry