Response of endophytic bacterial communities in banana tissue culture plantlets to Fusarium wilt pathogen infection

Jie Lian, Zifeng Wang, Shining Zhou
Journal of General and Applied Microbiology 2008, 54 (2): 83-92
Endophytic bacteria reside within plant hosts without having pathogenic effects, and various endophytes have been found to functionally benefit plant disease suppressive ability. In this study, the influence of banana plant stress on the endophytic bacterial communities, which was achieved by infection with the wilt pathogen Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense, was examined by cultivation-independent denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis analysis of 16S ribosomal DNA directly amplified from plant tissue DNA. Community analysis clearly demonstrated increased bacterial diversity in pathogen-infected plantlets compared to that in control plantlets. By sequencing, bands most similar to species of Bacillus and Pseudomonas showed high density in the pathogen-treated pattern. In vitro screening of the isolates for antagonistic activity against Fusarium wilt pathogen acquired three strains of endophytic bacteria which were found to match those species that obviously increased in the pathogen infection process; moreover, the most inhibitive strain could also interiorly colonize plantlets and perform antagonism. The evidence obtained from this work showed that antagonistic endophytic bacteria could be induced by the appearance of a host fungal pathogen and further be an ideal biological control agent to use in banana Fusarium wilt disease protection.

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