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Article

Trichoderma asperellum Secreted 6-Pentyl-α-Pyrone to Control Magnaporthiopsis maydis, the Maize Late Wilt Disease Agent

by 1,2,*, 1,2,†, 1,2, 1,2 and 1
1
Migal—Galilee Research Institute, Tarshish 2, Kiryat Shmona 11016, Israel
2
Faculty of Sciences, Tel-Hai College, Upper Galilee, Tel-Hai 12210, Israel
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
The first two authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editors: Maria Doroteia Campos and Maria do Rosário Félix
Biology 2021, 10(9), 897; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10090897
Received: 13 August 2021 / Revised: 4 September 2021 / Accepted: 8 September 2021 / Published: 11 September 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant-Pathogen Interaction 2.0)
The maize (Zea mays L.) late wilt disease, caused by the fungus Magnaporthiopsis maydis, is considered the most severe threat to commercial maize production in Israel and Egypt. Various control strategies have been inspected over the years. The current scientific effort is focusing on eco-friendly approaches against the disease. The genus Trichoderma, a filamentous soil and plant root-associated fungi, is one of the essential biocontrol species, demonstrating over 60% of all the listed biocontrol agents used to reduce plant infectious diseases. They produce different enzymes and elicit defense responses in plants, playing a significant role in biotic and abiotic stress tolerance, hyphal growth, and plant growth promotion. Trichoderma asperellum was found to have biocontrol ability and protect crops against various plant pathogenic fungi, including the maize late wilt disease causal agent. This research aimed at isolating and identifying T. asperellum secondary metabolites with antifungal action against M. maydis. From T. asperellum growth medium, the 6-Pentyl-α-pyrone secondary metabolite was isolated and identified with high potent antifungal activity against M. maydis. This compound previously exhibited antifungal activities towards several plant pathogenic fungi. Achieving clean and identified T. asperellum active ingredient(s) secreted product(s) is the first step in revealing their commercial potential as new fungicides. Follow-up studies should test this component against the LWD pathogen in potted sprouts and the field.
Late wilt disease (LWD) is a destructive vascular disease of maize (Zea mays L.) caused by the fungus Magnaporthiopsis maydis. Restricting the disease, which is a significant threat to commercial production in Israel, Egypt, Spain, India, and other countries, is an urgent need. In the past three years, we scanned nine Trichoderma spp. isolates as biological control candidates against M. maydis. Three of these isolates showed promising results. In vitro assays, seedlings pathogenicity trials, and field experiments all support the bio-control potential of these isolates (or their secretions). Here, a dedicated effort led to the isolation and identification of an active ingredient in the growth medium of Trichoderma asperellum (P1) with antifungal activity against M. maydis. This Trichoderma species is an endophyte isolated from LWD-susceptible maize seeds. From the chloroform extract of this fungal medium, we isolated a powerful (approx. 400 mg/L) active ingredient capable of fully inhibiting M. maydis growth. Additional purification using liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry (LC–MS) and gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC–MS) separation steps enabled identifying the active ingredient as 6-Pentyl-α-pyrone. This compound is a potential fungicide with high efficiency against the LWD causal agent. View Full-Text
Keywords: biological control; Cephalosporium maydis; chromatography; crop protection; fungus; Harpophora maydis; microflora; mass spectrometry biological control; Cephalosporium maydis; chromatography; crop protection; fungus; Harpophora maydis; microflora; mass spectrometry
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MDPI and ACS Style

Degani, O.; Khatib, S.; Becher, P.; Gordani, A.; Harris, R. Trichoderma asperellum Secreted 6-Pentyl-α-Pyrone to Control Magnaporthiopsis maydis, the Maize Late Wilt Disease Agent. Biology 2021, 10, 897. https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10090897

AMA Style

Degani O, Khatib S, Becher P, Gordani A, Harris R. Trichoderma asperellum Secreted 6-Pentyl-α-Pyrone to Control Magnaporthiopsis maydis, the Maize Late Wilt Disease Agent. Biology. 2021; 10(9):897. https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10090897

Chicago/Turabian Style

Degani, Ofir, Soliman Khatib, Paz Becher, Asaf Gordani, and Raviv Harris. 2021. "Trichoderma asperellum Secreted 6-Pentyl-α-Pyrone to Control Magnaporthiopsis maydis, the Maize Late Wilt Disease Agent" Biology 10, no. 9: 897. https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10090897

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