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Pantoea agglomerans-Fusarium graminearum interaction for Fusarium head blight management and mycotoxin control

Yun Chen*: Institute of Biotechnology, Zhejiang University

<div>Physical and metabolic interactions between bacteria and fungi are widespread in nature and have great environmental, medical and agricultural importance. Yet, the underlying mechanisms are largely unknown. Here, we investigated an antagonistic interaction between a commensal bacterium, <em>Pantoea agglomerans </em>ZJU23, and a disastrous plant pathogenic fungus <em>Fusarium graminearum</em>. ZJU23 was isolated from perithecium of <em>F. graminearum</em> and found to secret a broad-spectrum antifungal compound, herbicolin A. We used Tn5 transposon mutagenesis to create a mutant library, screened approximately 8,000 mutants for loss of herbicolin A production, and recovered 40 mutants. Sequencing of the transposon insertion sites of these mutants revealed multiple independent disruptions of a 50 kb cluster in the plasmid 2, which was not present in any of the fully sequenced <em>Pantoea </em>genomes. ZJU23 and herbicolin A was significantly inhibited the mycotoxin biosynthesis and virulence of<em> F. graminearum</em>. Our current data revealed ZJU23 and herbicolin A has practical implications in controlling important fungal diseases in plant and possibly in animals. The target of herbicolin A towards fungi is under investigating.</div>