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Article

Mutualistic Fungal Endophyte Colletotrichum tofieldiae Ct0861 Colonizes and Increases Growth and Yield of Maize and Tomato Plants

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PlantResponse Biotech, S.L. Centro de Empresas, Campus de Montegancedo, 28223 Pozuelo de Alarcón, Madrid, Spain
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Centro de Biotecnología y Genómica de Plantas (CBGP), Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM)—Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Tecnología Agraria y Alimentaria (INIA) Campus Montegancedo UPM, 28223 Pozuelo de Alarcón, Madrid, Spain
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Departamento de Biotecnología-Biología Vegetal, Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingeniería Agronómica, Alimentaria y de Biosistemas, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM), 28040 Madrid, Spain
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Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Agronomy 2020, 10(10), 1493; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10101493
Received: 20 August 2020 / Revised: 25 September 2020 / Accepted: 26 September 2020 / Published: 1 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial Root Symbionts in Plant Production: Getting to the Bottom)
Facing rising global food demand in a sustainable way is a great challenge of modern agriculture. Thus, the increase of crop productivity and resilience in an adverse climate scenario is urgently needed. Fungal endophytes have been described as potential biological tools to improve plant yield and tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses; however, their application in agriculture needs further research. The fungal endophyte Colletotrichum tofieldiae strain Ct0861 establishes a mutualistic interaction with Arabidopsis thaliana, promoting plant growth and silique production at low phosphate conditions. Until now, its ability to colonize and confer benefits to other plant species remained unexplored. Here, we show that Ct0861 colonizes and promotes growth in vitro of maize (Zea mays L.) and tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) seedlings, resulting in significantly larger shoot length and weight. Greenhouse and field experiments in optimal nutritional conditions showed an increase between 12% and 22% of yield in both tomato and maize. The inoculated plants were not suffering from phosphate starvation, which points at different modes of action not elucidated yet. These results indicate that the beneficial effect of Ct0861 may extend to other plant species of economic importance, making Ct0861 a potentially valuable inoculant. View Full-Text
Keywords: Colletotrichum tofieldiae; fungal endophyte; Zea mays L.; Solanum lycopersicum L.; yield increase; plant growth promoter; sustainable agriculture; biostimulant Colletotrichum tofieldiae; fungal endophyte; Zea mays L.; Solanum lycopersicum L.; yield increase; plant growth promoter; sustainable agriculture; biostimulant
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MDPI and ACS Style

Díaz-González, S.; Marín, P.; Sánchez, R.; Arribas, C.; Kruse, J.; González-Melendi, P.; Brunner, F.; Sacristán, S. Mutualistic Fungal Endophyte Colletotrichum tofieldiae Ct0861 Colonizes and Increases Growth and Yield of Maize and Tomato Plants. Agronomy 2020, 10, 1493. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10101493

AMA Style

Díaz-González S, Marín P, Sánchez R, Arribas C, Kruse J, González-Melendi P, Brunner F, Sacristán S. Mutualistic Fungal Endophyte Colletotrichum tofieldiae Ct0861 Colonizes and Increases Growth and Yield of Maize and Tomato Plants. Agronomy. 2020; 10(10):1493. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10101493

Chicago/Turabian Style

Díaz-González, Sandra, Patricia Marín, Roberto Sánchez, Cristina Arribas, John Kruse, Pablo González-Melendi, Frédéric Brunner, and Soledad Sacristán. 2020. "Mutualistic Fungal Endophyte Colletotrichum tofieldiae Ct0861 Colonizes and Increases Growth and Yield of Maize and Tomato Plants" Agronomy 10, no. 10: 1493. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10101493

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