Disease control and plant defense pathways induced by Bacillus mojavensis isolate 203-7 and Bacillus mycoides isolate BmJ
Neher, Oliver Thomas
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The objective of this study was to investigate the plant defense pathways induced by Bacillus mojavensis isolate 203-7 (203-7) and B. mycoides isolate BmJ (BmJ) and to test their ability to control fungal pathogens on tomato and cucumber by means of systemic acquired resistance (SAR). An Arabidopsis thaliana mutant - Botrytis cinerea pathosystem was used to investigate plant defense pathways activated by 203-7 and BmJ. A. thaliana wild type (Col-0), ein2-1, jar1-1, NahG, ndr1-1/npr1-2, and npr1-1 mutants were induced by application of bacilli, distilled water, or chemical inducers. Both bacilli reduced disease severity on wild type and NahG mutants, but provided no reduction on jar1-1, indicating that induction was salicylic acid (SA) independent but jasmonic acid (JA) dependent. 203-7 induced plants had lower disease severity on npr1-1 and ein1-2 mutants but were equivalent to buffer controls on jar1-1 mutants. BmJ did not decrease disease severity on npr1-1, jar1 or ein2-1 mutants. Enzyme assays confirmed the induction of chitinase, beta-1,3-glucanase, and superoxide dismutase by 203-7 and BmJ. These results demonstrate that induction by 203-7 is JA dependent and NPR1 independent. BmJ is SA independent but NPR1 and JA/ethylene dependent. Bacilli were tested for their ability to control B. cinerea grey mold on hydroponically grown greenhouse tomatoes and Glomerella cingulata var. orbiculare on cucumber by means of SAR. Weekly foliar applications of bacilli were able to significantly (a=0.05) reduce the severity of grey mold leaf lesions and to reduce the area under the disease progress curve (AUDPC) calculated for seven Botrytis stem canker ratings. Chitinase, beta-1,3-glucanase, and SOD activity of apoplastic fluids were not significantly (a=0.05) increased by the treatments. Bacilli reduced total and live spore production of G. orbiculare per mm 2 of lesion and increased beta-1,3-glucanase activity of cucumber apoplastic fluids. Applications of BmJ compared to fungicides for the control of anthracnose in cucumber (var. 'General Lee') and cantaloupe (var. 'Athena') were evaluated in 2004 and 2005 field experiments. BmJ applied seven days before inoculation provided disease reduction in cucumber and cantaloupe statistically equal to the fungicide treatments.