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Open AccessArticle

Application of Trichoderma harzianum, 6-Pentyl-α-pyrone and Plant Biopolymer Formulations Modulate Plant Metabolism and Fruit Quality of Plum Tomatoes

1
Department of Environmental, Biological and Pharmaceutical Sciences and Technologies, University of Campania “Luigi Vanvitelli”, Via Vivaldi 43, 81100 Caserta, Italy
2
Department of Pharmacy, University of Naples Federico II, 80131 Naples, Italy
3
Task Force on Microbiome Studies, University of Naples Federico II, 80055 Portici, Italy
4
National Research Council, Institute for Sustainable Plant Protection, 80055 Portici, Italy
5
Department of Agricultural Sciences, University of Naples Federico II, 80055 Portici, Italy
6
National Research Council, Institute for Composite Polymers and Biomaterials, 80125 Napoli, Italy
7
Department of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Productions, University of Naples Federico II, 80137 Naples, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Plants 2020, 9(6), 771; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9060771
Received: 23 May 2020 / Revised: 8 June 2020 / Accepted: 17 June 2020 / Published: 19 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2019 Feature Papers by Plants’ Editorial Board Members)
Many Trichoderma are successfully used to improve agriculture productivity due to their capacity for biocontrol and to stimulate plant growth and tolerance to abiotic stress. This research elucidates the effect of applications with Trichoderma harzianum strain T22 (T22), or biopolymer (BP) alone or in combination (BP + T22 or BP + 6-pentyl-α-pyrone (6PP); a Trichoderma secondary metabolite) on the crop performance, nutritional and functional quality of greenhouse tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L. cultivar Pixel). T22 elicited significant increases in total yield (+40.1%) compared to untreated tomato. The content of lycopene, an important antioxidant compound in tomatoes, significantly increased upon treatment with T22 (+ 49%), BP + T22 (+ 40%) and BP + 6PP (+ 52%) compared to the control. T22 treatments significantly increased the content of asparagine (+37%), GABA (+87%) and MEA (+102%) over the control; whereas BP alone strongly increased GABA (+105%) and MEA (+85%). The synthesis of these compounds implies that tomato plants are able to reuse the photorespiratory amino acids and ammonium for producing useful metabolites and reduce the pressure of photorespiration on plant metabolism, thus optimizing photosynthesis and growth. Finally, these metabolites exert many beneficial effects for human health, thus enhancing the premium quality of plum tomatoes. View Full-Text
Keywords: microbial biostimulant; non-microbial biostimulant; carboxymethyl cellulose; Pluronic F-127; amino acids; lycopene; GABA; Solanum lycopersicum L. microbial biostimulant; non-microbial biostimulant; carboxymethyl cellulose; Pluronic F-127; amino acids; lycopene; GABA; Solanum lycopersicum L.
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Carillo, P.; Woo, S.L.; Comite, E.; El-Nakhel, C.; Rouphael, Y.; Fusco, G.M.; Borzacchiello, A.; Lanzuise, S.; Vinale, F. Application of Trichoderma harzianum, 6-Pentyl-α-pyrone and Plant Biopolymer Formulations Modulate Plant Metabolism and Fruit Quality of Plum Tomatoes. Plants 2020, 9, 771.

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