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Special Issue "Plant Microbe Interaction 2017"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Biochemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2017).

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A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Jan Schirawski
Website
Guest Editor
Microbial Genetics, Institute of Applied Microbiology, Aachen Biology and Biotechnology, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany
Interests: fungus-plant interaction; biotrophic fungi; smut fungi; host selection; symptom formation; comparative genomics; effector function
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Michael H. Perlin
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Biology, Program on Disease Evolution, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY 40292, USA
Interests: host/pathogen interactions; smut fungi; evolution of disease; signal transduction; fungal dimorphism
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Microbes interact with plants at many different levels and plants have learned to deal with or even exploit the available microbes. While some microbes impact plant growth without entering the plant, many microbes do enter and spread in various plant tissues. In recent years, small proteinaecous effectors secreted by interacting microbes into plant tissues have emerged as a unifying theme. Effector discovery has been tremendously aided by the availability of next-generation sequencing techniques, which have also raised the analysis of the plant microbe interaction to a system-wide level. The system-wide approach also shows that plant growth and development is highly dependent on orchestrating the appropriate responses to different microbial interactors. The development and orchestration of plant responses have been refined through continuous selection pressure during plant and microbe evolution.

This Special Issue calls for review as well as original research articles that address the progress and current understanding of different aspects of the vast field of plant microbe interaction.

Prof. Dr. Jan Schirawski
Prof. Dr. Michael H. Perlin
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • mechanisms of biotrophy
  • endophytes
  • strategies of foliar pathogens
  • root colonizing microbes
  • rhizophere and plant development
  • regulation of plant defenses
  • functional elucidation of plant-microbe interactors
  • effects of microbes on plant development

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Published Papers (15 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial
Plant–Microbe Interaction 2017—The Good, the Bad and the Diverse
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(5), 1374; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19051374 - 05 May 2018
Cited by 12
Abstract
Of the many ways that plants interact with microbes, three aspects are highlighted in this issue: interactions where the plant benefits from the microbes, interactions where the plant suffers, and interactions where the plant serves as habitat for microbial communities. In this editorial, [...] Read more.
Of the many ways that plants interact with microbes, three aspects are highlighted in this issue: interactions where the plant benefits from the microbes, interactions where the plant suffers, and interactions where the plant serves as habitat for microbial communities. In this editorial, the fourteen articles published in the Special Issue Plant–Microbe Interaction 2017 are summarized and discussed as part of the global picture of the current understanding of plant-microbe interactions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Microbe Interaction 2017) Printed Edition available

Research

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Open AccessArticle
Core Microbiome of Medicinal Plant Salvia miltiorrhiza Seed: A Rich Reservoir of Beneficial Microbes for Secondary Metabolism?
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(3), 672; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19030672 - 27 Feb 2018
Cited by 18
Abstract
Seed microbiome includes special endophytic or epiphytic microbial taxa associated with seeds, which affects seed germination, plant growth, and health. Here, we analyzed the core microbiome of 21 Salvia miltiorrhiza seeds from seven different geographic origins using 16S rDNA and ITS amplicon sequencing, [...] Read more.
Seed microbiome includes special endophytic or epiphytic microbial taxa associated with seeds, which affects seed germination, plant growth, and health. Here, we analyzed the core microbiome of 21 Salvia miltiorrhiza seeds from seven different geographic origins using 16S rDNA and ITS amplicon sequencing, followed by bioinformatics analysis. The whole bacterial microbiome was classified into 17 microbial phyla and 39 classes. Gammaproteobacteria (67.6%), Alphaproteobacteria (15.6%), Betaproteobacteria (2.6%), Sphingobacteria (5.0%), Bacilli (4.6%), and Actinobacteria (2.9%) belonged to the core bacterial microbiome. Dothideomycetes comprised 94% of core fungal microbiome in S. miltiorrhiza seeds, and another two dominant classes were Leotiomycetes (3.0%) and Tremellomycetes (2.0%). We found that terpenoid backbone biosynthesis, degradation of limonene, pinene, and geraniol, and prenyltransferases, were overrepresented in the core bacterial microbiome using phylogenetic examination of communities by reconstruction of unobserved states (PICRUSt) software. We also found that the bacterial genera Pantoea, Pseudomonas, and Sphingomonas were enriched core taxa and overlapped among S. miltiorrhiza, maize, bean, and rice, while a fungal genus, Alternaria, was shared within S. miltiorrhiza, bean, and Brassicaceae families. These findings highlight that seed-associated microbiomeis an important component of plant microbiomes, which may be a gene reservoir for secondary metabolism in medicinal plants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Microbe Interaction 2017) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
Belowground Interactions Impact the Soil Bacterial Community, Soil Fertility, and Crop Yield in Maize/Peanut Intercropping Systems
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(2), 622; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19020622 - 22 Feb 2018
Cited by 13
Abstract
Intercropping has been widely used to control disease and improve yield in agriculture. In this study, maize and peanut were used for non-separation intercropping (NS), semi-separation intercropping (SS) using a nylon net, and complete separation intercropping (CS) using a plastic sheet. In field [...] Read more.
Intercropping has been widely used to control disease and improve yield in agriculture. In this study, maize and peanut were used for non-separation intercropping (NS), semi-separation intercropping (SS) using a nylon net, and complete separation intercropping (CS) using a plastic sheet. In field experiments, two-year land equivalent ratios (LERs) showed yield advantages due to belowground interactions when using NS and SS patterns as compared to monoculture. In contrast, intercropping without belowground interactions (CS) showed a yield disadvantage. Meanwhile, in pot experiments, belowground interactions (found in NS and SS) improved levels of soil-available nutrients (nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P)) and enzymes (urease and acid phosphomonoesterase) as compared to intercropping without belowground interactions (CS). Soil bacterial community assay showed that soil bacterial communities in the NS and SS crops clustered together and were considerably different from the CS crops. The diversity of bacterial communities was significantly improved in soils with NS and SS. The abundance of beneficial bacteria, which have the functions of P-solubilization, pathogen suppression, and N-cycling, was improved in maize and peanut soils due to belowground interactions through intercropping. Among these bacteria, numbers of Bacillus, Brevibacillus brevis, and Paenibacillus were mainly increased in the maize rhizosphere. Burkholderia, Pseudomonas, and Rhizobium were mainly increased in the peanut rhizosphere. In conclusion, using maize and peanut intercropping, belowground interactions increased the numbers of beneficial bacteria in the soil and improved the diversity of the bacterial community, which was conducive to improving soil nutrient (N and P) supply capacity and soil microecosystem stability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Microbe Interaction 2017) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
Induced Salt Tolerance of Perennial Ryegrass by a Novel Bacterium Strain from the Rhizosphere of a Desert Shrub Haloxylon ammodendron
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(2), 469; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19020469 - 05 Feb 2018
Cited by 14
Abstract
Drought and soil salinity reduce agricultural output worldwide. Plant-growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) can enhance plant growth and augment plant tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses. Haloxylon ammodendron, a C4 perennial succulent xerohalophyte shrub with excellent drought and salt tolerance, is naturally distributed in [...] Read more.
Drought and soil salinity reduce agricultural output worldwide. Plant-growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) can enhance plant growth and augment plant tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses. Haloxylon ammodendron, a C4 perennial succulent xerohalophyte shrub with excellent drought and salt tolerance, is naturally distributed in the desert area of northwest China. In our previous work, a bacterium strain numbered as M30-35 was isolated from the rhizosphere of H. ammodendron in Tengger desert, Gansu province, northwest China. In current work, the effects of M30-35 inoculation on salt tolerance of perennial ryegrass were evaluated and its genome was sequenced to identify genes associated with plant growth promotion. Results showed that M30-35 significantly enhanced growth and salt tolerance of perennial ryegrass by increasing shoot fresh and dry weights, chlorophyll content, root volume, root activity, leaf catalase activity, soluble sugar and proline contents that contributed to reduced osmotic potential, tissue K+ content and K+/Na+ ratio, while decreasing malondialdehyde (MDA) content and relative electric conductivity (REC), especially under higher salinity. The genome of M30-35 contains 4421 protein encoding genes, 12 rRNA, 63 tRNA-encoding genes and four rRNA operons. M30-35 was initially classified as a new species in Pseudomonas and named as Pseudomonas sp. M30-35. Thirty-four genes showing homology to genes associated with PGPR traits and abiotic stress tolerance were identified in Pseudomonas sp. M30-35 genome, including 12 related to insoluble phosphorus solubilization, four to auxin biosynthesis, four to other process of growth promotion, seven to oxidative stress alleviation, four to salt and drought tolerance and three to cold and heat tolerance. Further study is needed to clarify the correlation between these genes from M30-35 and the salt stress alleviation of inoculated plants under salt stress. Overall, our research indicated that desert shrubs appear rich in PGPRs that can help important crops tolerate abiotic stress. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Microbe Interaction 2017) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
Transcriptome Analysis of Kiwifruit in Response to Pseudomonas syringae pv. actinidiae Infection
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(2), 373; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19020373 - 26 Jan 2018
Cited by 8
Abstract
Kiwifruit bacterial canker caused by Pseudomonas syringae pv. actinidiae (Psa) has brought about a severe threat to the kiwifruit industry worldwide since its first outbreak in 2008. Studies on other pathovars of P. syringae are revealing the pathogenesis of these pathogens, but little [...] Read more.
Kiwifruit bacterial canker caused by Pseudomonas syringae pv. actinidiae (Psa) has brought about a severe threat to the kiwifruit industry worldwide since its first outbreak in 2008. Studies on other pathovars of P. syringae are revealing the pathogenesis of these pathogens, but little about the mechanism of kiwifruit bacterial canker is known. In order to explore the species-specific interaction between Psa and kiwifruit, we analyzed the transcriptomic profile of kiwifruit infected by Psa. After 48 h, 8255 differentially expressed genes were identified, including those involved in metabolic process, secondary metabolites metabolism and plant response to stress. Genes related to biosynthesis of terpens were obviously regulated, indicating terpens may play roles in suppressing the growth of Psa. We identified 283 differentially expressed resistant genes, of which most U-box domain containing genes were obviously up regulated. Expression of genes involved in plant immunity was detected and some key genes showed differential expression. Our results suggest that Psa induced defense response of kiwifruit, including PAMP (pathogen/microbe-associated molecular patterns)-triggered immunity, effector-triggered immunity and hypersensitive response. Metabolic process was adjusted to adapt to these responses and production of secondary metabolites may be altered to suppress the growth of Psa. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Microbe Interaction 2017) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
Seed Endophyte Microbiome of Crotalaria pumila Unpeeled: Identification of Plant-Beneficial Methylobacteria
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(1), 291; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19010291 - 19 Jan 2018
Cited by 10
Abstract
Metal contaminated soils are increasing worldwide. Metal-tolerant plants growing on metalliferous soils are fascinating genetic and microbial resources. Seeds can vertically transmit endophytic microorganisms that can assist next generations to cope with environmental stresses, through yet poorly understood mechanisms. The aims of this [...] Read more.
Metal contaminated soils are increasing worldwide. Metal-tolerant plants growing on metalliferous soils are fascinating genetic and microbial resources. Seeds can vertically transmit endophytic microorganisms that can assist next generations to cope with environmental stresses, through yet poorly understood mechanisms. The aims of this study were to identify the core seed endophyte microbiome of the pioneer metallophyte Crotalaria pumila throughout three generations, and to better understand the plant colonisation of the seed endophyte Methylobacterium sp. Cp3. Strain Cp3 was detected in C. pumila seeds across three successive generations and showed the most dominant community member. When inoculated in the soil at the time of flowering, strain Cp3 migrated from soil to seeds. Using confocal microscopy, Cp3-mCherry was demonstrated to colonise the root cortex cells and xylem vessels of the stem under metal stress. Moreover, strain Cp3 showed genetic and in planta potential to promote seed germination and seedling development. We revealed, for the first time, that the seed microbiome of a pioneer plant growing in its natural environment, and the colonisation behaviour of an important plant growth promoting systemic seed endophyte. Future characterization of seed microbiota will lead to a better understanding of their functional contribution and the potential use for seed-fortification applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Microbe Interaction 2017) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
Improvement of Verticillium Wilt Resistance by Applying Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi to a Cotton Variety with High Symbiotic Efficiency under Field Conditions
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(1), 241; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19010241 - 13 Jan 2018
Cited by 5
Abstract
Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) play an important role in nutrient cycling processes and plant stress resistance. To evaluate the effect of Rhizophagus irregularis CD1 on plant growth promotion (PGP) and Verticillium wilt disease, the symbiotic efficiency of AMF (SEA) was first investigated over [...] Read more.
Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) play an important role in nutrient cycling processes and plant stress resistance. To evaluate the effect of Rhizophagus irregularis CD1 on plant growth promotion (PGP) and Verticillium wilt disease, the symbiotic efficiency of AMF (SEA) was first investigated over a range of 3% to 94% in 17 cotton varieties. The high-SEA subgroup had significant PGP effects in a greenhouse. From these results, the highest-SEA variety of Lumian 1 was selected for a two-year field assay. Consistent with the performance from the greenhouse, the AMF-mediated PGP of Lumian 1 also produced significant results, including an increased plant height, stem diameter, number of petioles, and phosphorus content. Compared with the mock treatment, AMF colonization obviously inhibited the symptom development of Verticillium dahliae and more strongly elevated the expression of pathogenesis-related genes and lignin synthesis-related genes. These results suggest that AMF colonization could lead to the mycorrhiza-induced resistance (MIR) of Lumian 1 to V. dahliae. Interestingly, our results indicated that the AMF endosymbiont could directly inhibit the growth of phytopathogenic fungi including V. dahliae by releasing undefined volatiles. In summary, our results suggest that stronger effects of AMF application result from the high-SEA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Microbe Interaction 2017) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
Protein Activity of the Fusarium fujikuroi Rhodopsins CarO and OpsA and Their Relation to Fungus–Plant Interaction
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(1), 215; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19010215 - 11 Jan 2018
Cited by 7
Abstract
Fungi possess diverse photosensory proteins that allow them to perceive different light wavelengths and to adapt to changing light conditions in their environment. The biological and physiological roles of the green light-sensing rhodopsins in fungi are not yet resolved. The rice plant pathogen [...] Read more.
Fungi possess diverse photosensory proteins that allow them to perceive different light wavelengths and to adapt to changing light conditions in their environment. The biological and physiological roles of the green light-sensing rhodopsins in fungi are not yet resolved. The rice plant pathogen Fusarium fujikuroi exhibits two different rhodopsins, CarO and OpsA. CarO was previously characterized as a light-driven proton pump. We further analyzed the pumping behavior of CarO by patch-clamp experiments. Our data show that CarO pumping activity is strongly augmented in the presence of the plant hormone indole-3-acetic acid and in sodium acetate, in a dose-dependent manner under slightly acidic conditions. By contrast, under these and other tested conditions, the Neurospora rhodopsin (NR)-like rhodopsin OpsA did not exhibit any pump activity. Basic local alignment search tool (BLAST) searches in the genomes of ascomycetes revealed the occurrence of rhodopsin-encoding genes mainly in phyto-associated or phytopathogenic fungi, suggesting a possible correlation of the presence of rhodopsins with fungal ecology. In accordance, rice plants infected with a CarO-deficient F. fujikuroi strain showed more severe bakanae symptoms than the reference strain, indicating a potential role of the CarO rhodopsin in the regulation of plant infection by this fungus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Microbe Interaction 2017) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
Transcriptome Analysis of Tomato Leaf Spot Pathogen Fusarium proliferatum: De novo Assembly, Expression Profiling, and Identification of Candidate Effectors
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(1), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19010031 - 22 Dec 2017
Cited by 5
Abstract
Leaf spot disease caused by the fungus Fusarium proliferatum (Matsushima) Nirenberg is a destructive disease of tomato plants in China. Typical symptoms of infected tomato plants are softened and wilted stems and leaves, leading to the eventual death of the entire plant. In [...] Read more.
Leaf spot disease caused by the fungus Fusarium proliferatum (Matsushima) Nirenberg is a destructive disease of tomato plants in China. Typical symptoms of infected tomato plants are softened and wilted stems and leaves, leading to the eventual death of the entire plant. In this study, we resorted to transcriptional profile analysis to gain insight into the repertoire of effectors involved in F. proliferatum–tomato interactions. A total of 61,544,598 clean reads were de novo assembled to provide a F. proliferatum reference transcriptome. From these, 75,044 unigenes were obtained, with 19.46% of the unigenes being assigned to 276 Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathways, with 22.3% having a homology with genes from F. fujikuroi. A total of 18,075 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified, 720 of which were found to code for secreted proteins. Of these, 184 were identified as candidate effectors, while 79.89% had an upregulated expression. Moreover, 17 genes that were differentially expressed in RNA-seq studies were randomly selected for validation by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT–PCR). The study demonstrates that transcriptome analysis could be an effective method for identifying the repertoire of candidate effectors and may provide an invaluable resource for future functional analyses of F. proliferatum pathogenicity in F. proliferatum and tomato plant–host interactions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Microbe Interaction 2017) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
Synergistic Effects of Bacillus amyloliquefaciens (GB03) and Water Retaining Agent on Drought Tolerance of Perennial Ryegrass
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2651; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18122651 - 11 Dec 2017
Cited by 7
Abstract
Water retaining agent (WRA) is widely used for soil erosion control and agricultural water saving. Here, we evaluated the effects of the combination of beneficial soil bacterium Bacillus amyloliquefaciens strain GB03 and WRA (the compound is super absorbent hydrogels) on drought tolerance of [...] Read more.
Water retaining agent (WRA) is widely used for soil erosion control and agricultural water saving. Here, we evaluated the effects of the combination of beneficial soil bacterium Bacillus amyloliquefaciens strain GB03 and WRA (the compound is super absorbent hydrogels) on drought tolerance of perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.). Seedlings were subjected to natural drought for maximum 20 days by stopping watering and then rewatered for seven days. Plant survival rate, biomass, photosynthesis, water status and leaf cell membrane integrity were measured. The results showed that under severe drought stress (20-day natural drought), compared to control, GB03, WRA and GB03+WRA all significantly improved shoot fresh weight, dry weight, relative water content (RWC) and chlorophyll content and decreased leaf relative electric conductivity (REC) and leaf malondialdehyde (MDA) content; GB03+WRA significantly enhanced chlorophyll content compared to control and other two treatments. Seven days after rewatering, GB03, WRA and GB03+WRA all significantly enhanced plant survival rate, biomass, RWC and maintained chlorophyll content compared to control; GB03+WRA significantly enhanced plant survival rate, biomass and chlorophyll content compared to control and other two treatments. The results established that GB03 together with water retaining agent promotes ryegrass growth under drought conditions by improving survival rate and maintaining chlorophyll content. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Microbe Interaction 2017) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
Identification and Initial Characterization of the Effectors of an Anther Smut Fungus and Potential Host Target Proteins
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(11), 2489; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18112489 - 22 Nov 2017
Cited by 4
Abstract
(1) Background: Plant pathogenic fungi often display high levels of host specificity and biotrophic fungi; in particular, they must manipulate their hosts to avoid detection and to complete their obligate pathogenic lifecycles. One important strategy of such fungi is the secretion of small [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Plant pathogenic fungi often display high levels of host specificity and biotrophic fungi; in particular, they must manipulate their hosts to avoid detection and to complete their obligate pathogenic lifecycles. One important strategy of such fungi is the secretion of small proteins that serve as effectors in this process. Microbotryum violaceum is a species complex whose members infect members of the Caryophyllaceae; M. lychnidis-dioicae, a parasite on Silene latifolia, is one of the best studied interactions. We are interested in identifying and characterizing effectors of the fungus and possible corresponding host targets; (2) Methods: In silico analysis of the M. lychnidis-dioicae genome and transcriptomes allowed us to predict a pool of small secreted proteins (SSPs) with the hallmarks of effectors, including a lack of conserved protein family (PFAM) domains and also localized regions of disorder. Putative SSPs were tested for secretion using a yeast secretion trap method. We then used yeast two-hybrid analyses for candidate-secreted effectors to probe a cDNA library from a range of growth conditions of the fungus, including infected plants; (3) Results: Roughly 50 SSPs were identified by in silico analysis. Of these, 4 were studied further and shown to be secreted, as well as examined for potential host interactors. One of the putative effectors, MVLG_01732, was found to interact with Arabidopsis thaliana calcium-dependent lipid binding protein (AtCLB) and with cellulose synthase interactive protein 1 orthologues; and (4) Conclusions: The identification of a pool of putative effectors provides a resource for functional characterization of fungal proteins that mediate the delicate interaction between pathogen and host. The candidate targets of effectors, e.g., AtCLB, involved in pollen germination suggest tantalizing insights that could drive future studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Microbe Interaction 2017) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
Cultivar and Metal-Specific Effects of Endophytic Bacteria in Helianthus tuberosus Exposed to Cd and Zn
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(10), 2026; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18102026 - 21 Sep 2017
Cited by 9
Abstract
Plant growth promoting endophytic bacteria (PGPB) isolated from Brassica napus were inoculated in two cultivars of Helianthus tuberosus (VR and D19) growing on sand supplemented with 0.1 mM Cd or 1 mM Zn. Plant growth, concentrations of metals and thiobarbituric acid (TBA) reactive [...] Read more.
Plant growth promoting endophytic bacteria (PGPB) isolated from Brassica napus were inoculated in two cultivars of Helianthus tuberosus (VR and D19) growing on sand supplemented with 0.1 mM Cd or 1 mM Zn. Plant growth, concentrations of metals and thiobarbituric acid (TBA) reactive compounds were determined. Colonization of roots of H. tuberosus D19 by Pseudomonas sp. 262 was evaluated using confocal laser scanning microscopy. Pseudomonas sp. 228, Serratia sp. 246 and Pseudomonas sp. 262 significantly enhanced growth of H. tuberosus D19 exposed to Cd or Zn. Pseudomonas sp. 228 significantly increased Cd concentrations in roots. Serratia sp. 246, and Pseudomonas sp. 256 and 228 resulted in significantly decreased contents of TBA reactive compounds in roots of Zn exposed D19 plants. Growth improvement and decrease of metal-induced stress were more pronounced in D19 than in VR. Pseudomonas sp. 262-green fluorescent protein (GFP) colonized the root epidermis/exodermis and also inside root hairs, indicating that an endophytic interaction was established. H. tuberosus D19 inoculated with Pseudomonas sp. 228, Serratia sp. 246 and Pseudomonas sp. 262 holds promise for sustainable biomass production in combination with phytoremediation on Cd and Zn contaminated soils. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Microbe Interaction 2017) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
Spatial Distribution Patterns of Root-Associated Bacterial Communities Mediated by Root Exudates in Different Aged Ratooning Tea Monoculture Systems
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(8), 1727; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18081727 - 08 Aug 2017
Cited by 20
Abstract
Positive plant–soil feedback depends on beneficial interactions between roots and microbes for nutrient acquisition; growth promotion; and disease suppression. Recent pyrosequencing approaches have provided insight into the rhizosphere bacterial communities in various cropping systems. However; there is a scarcity of information about the [...] Read more.
Positive plant–soil feedback depends on beneficial interactions between roots and microbes for nutrient acquisition; growth promotion; and disease suppression. Recent pyrosequencing approaches have provided insight into the rhizosphere bacterial communities in various cropping systems. However; there is a scarcity of information about the influence of root exudates on the composition of root-associated bacterial communities in ratooning tea monocropping systems of different ages. In Southeastern China; tea cropping systems provide the unique natural experimental environment to compare the distribution of bacterial communities in different rhizo-compartments. High performance liquid chromatography–electrospray ionization–mass spectrometry (HPLC–ESI–MS) was performed to identify and quantify the allelochemicals in root exudates. A high-throughput sequence was used to determine the structural dynamics of the root-associated bacterial communities. Although soil physiochemical properties showed no significant differences in nutrients; long-term tea cultivation resulted in the accumulation of catechin-containing compounds in the rhizosphere and a lowering of pH. Moreover; distinct distribution patterns of bacterial taxa were observed in all three rhizo-compartments of two-year and 30-year monoculture tea; mediated strongly by soil pH and catechin-containing compounds. These results will help to explore the reasons why soil quality and fertility are disturbed in continuous ratooning tea monocropping systems; and to clarify the associated problems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Microbe Interaction 2017) Printed Edition available
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Plant Growth Promoting and Biocontrol Activity of Streptomyces spp. as Endophytes
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(4), 952; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19040952 - 22 Mar 2018
Cited by 48
Abstract
There has been many recent studies on the use of microbial antagonists to control diseases incited by soilborne and airborne plant pathogenic bacteria and fungi, in an attempt to replace existing methods of chemical control and avoid extensive use of fungicides, which often [...] Read more.
There has been many recent studies on the use of microbial antagonists to control diseases incited by soilborne and airborne plant pathogenic bacteria and fungi, in an attempt to replace existing methods of chemical control and avoid extensive use of fungicides, which often lead to resistance in plant pathogens. In agriculture, plant growth-promoting and biocontrol microorganisms have emerged as safe alternatives to chemical pesticides. Streptomyces spp. and their metabolites may have great potential as excellent agents for controlling various fungal and bacterial phytopathogens. Streptomycetes belong to the rhizosoil microbial communities and are efficient colonizers of plant tissues, from roots to the aerial parts. They are active producers of antibiotics and volatile organic compounds, both in soil and in planta, and this feature is helpful for identifying active antagonists of plant pathogens and can be used in several cropping systems as biocontrol agents. Additionally, their ability to promote plant growth has been demonstrated in a number of crops, thus inspiring the wide application of streptomycetes as biofertilizers to increase plant productivity. The present review highlights Streptomyces spp.-mediated functional traits, such as enhancement of plant growth and biocontrol of phytopathogens. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Microbe Interaction 2017) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessReview
Comparative Methods for Molecular Determination of Host-Specificity Factors in Plant-Pathogenic Fungi
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(3), 863; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19030863 - 15 Mar 2018
Cited by 7
Abstract
Many plant-pathogenic fungi are highly host-specific. In most cases, host-specific interactions evolved at the time of speciation of the respective host plants. However, host jumps have occurred quite frequently, and still today the greatest threat for the emergence of new fungal diseases is [...] Read more.
Many plant-pathogenic fungi are highly host-specific. In most cases, host-specific interactions evolved at the time of speciation of the respective host plants. However, host jumps have occurred quite frequently, and still today the greatest threat for the emergence of new fungal diseases is the acquisition of infection capability of a new host by an existing plant pathogen. Understanding the mechanisms underlying host-switching events requires knowledge of the factors determining host-specificity. In this review, we highlight molecular methods that use a comparative approach for the identification of host-specificity factors. These cover a wide range of experimental set-ups, such as characterization of the pathosystem, genotyping of host-specific strains, comparative genomics, transcriptomics and proteomics, as well as gene prediction and functional gene validation. The methods are described and evaluated in view of their success in the identification of host-specificity factors and the understanding of their functional mechanisms. In addition, potential methods for the future identification of host-specificity factors are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Microbe Interaction 2017) Printed Edition available
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