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Biocontrol and Plant Pathogenic Fusarium oxysporum-Induced Changes in Phenolic Compounds in Tomato Leaves and Roots

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The biocontrol fungus Fusarium oxysporum strain CS-20 was previously shown to reduce the incidence of Fusarium wilt of tomato through an uncharacterized host-mediated response. As phenolic compounds are involved in the defence response of tomato to pathogens and other stressors, this work was undertaken to determine whether biocontrol strains induced changes in phenolic compounds in leaves and roots of tomato seedlings in the presence and absence of pathogenic F. oxysporum f. sp. lycopersici. Roots of intact tomato seedlings were placed in water or aqueous fungal spore suspensions. Two biocontrol F. oxysporum strains [CS-20 (host-mediated mechanism) and 85SK-1 (control mechanism unknown)] and two plant pathogenic strains of F. oxysporum f. sp. lycopersici Race 1 were used. After 24 or 72 h exposure, phenolic compounds were extracted from leaves and roots before identification by HPLC. There were significant qualitative and quantitative differences between the two sampling times. Compared with the control treatment, strain CS-20 significantly altered (usually increasing) the ferulic, caffeic and vanillic acid contents, and concentrations once unidentified phenolic compounds recovered from leaves and roots. In another experiment, tomato seedlings growing in sterile sand were drenched with spores of strain CS-20 the day before treating them with varying concentrations of spores of the pathogen for 24 or 72 h. The amount of pathogen present did not significantly affect the plant phenolic response to the presence of strain CS-20. This work demonstrates that tomato responds within 24 h to the presence of the biocontrol strain CS-20 by alterations in secondary metabolism that are typical of resistance responses in tomato.
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Keywords: Fusarium wilt; biocontrol

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Russian Research Institute of Phytopathology, B. Vyazemy, Moscow Region, Russia 2: Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, USDA, ARS, Beltsville, MD, USA (correspondence to D. R. Fravel. ), Email:

Publication date: 2007-08-01

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