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A split-root system to assess biocontrol effectiveness and defense-related genetic responses in above-ground tissues during the tripartite interaction Verticillium dahliae-olive-Pseudomonas fluorescens PICF7 in roots

AuthorsGómez-Lama Cabanás, Carmen ; Sesmero, Rafael; Valverde-Corredor, Antonio ; López-Escudero, Francisco Javier; Mercado-Blanco, Jesús
KeywordsBiological control
Host defense response
Olea europaea L.
Plant-microbe interaction
Verticillium wilt
Issue DateAug-2017
PublisherSpringer Nature
CitationPlant and Soil 417(1-2): 433-452 (2017)
Abstract[Background and aims] The olive root endophyte Pseudomonas fluorescens PICF7 is an effective biocontrol agent of Verticillium wilt of olive (VWO). Colonization of olive roots either by strain PICF7 or by Verticillium dahliae triggers differential systemic transcriptomic responses, many of them related with defense-related genes. The aims were to develop an olive split-root system for assessing VWO development and biocontrol effectiveness of strain PICF7 in plants with a divided root architecture, and for evaluating systemic defense responses during this tripartite interaction when strain PICF7 and V. dahliae are spatially separated.
[Methods] An olive split-root system was generated and disease development, biocontrol effectiveness and systemic genetic responses in these plants upon strain PICF7 and V. dahliae colonization were compared to those reported and observed in olive plants grown under standard conditions (single pots). Specific defense-related genes, previously identified during PICF7- and/or V. dahliae-olive root interactions were selected and their expression patterns assessed in above-ground tissues by real-time qPCR analyses.
[Results] Symptoms of VWO developed similarly both in split-root and single-root plants. However, even though PICF7 triggered systemic defense responses in aerial tissues prior to the infection by V. dahliae, effective biocontrol was not observed under these experimental conditions. While most of studied genes showed similar expression patterns along time in both systems (i.e. split root and single pot), some of them (e.g. the caffeoyl-O-methyltransferase coding gene) varied depending on whether strain PICF7 and V. dahliae were spatially separated or shared the same compartment.
[Conclusions] A successful split-root system was generated to investigate genetic events taking place during the tripartite interaction olive-V. dahliae-P. fluorescens PICF7. VWO biocontrol by strain PICF7 must rely on mechanisms other than induction of systemic resistance responses. The expression pattern of specific defense-related olive genes depended on whether or not the biocontrol agent and the pathogen share the same root/soil region.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11104-017-3269-y
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