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POSTERS: Molecular plant-microbe interactions

Interaction of bell pepper endornavirus with Colletotrichum sp. and Meloidogyne incognita
Cesar Escalante Guardado - Louisiana State University Agricultural Center. Edward McGawley- Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, Rodrigo Valverde- Louisiana State University Agricultural Center

Information on plant-pathogen and pathogen-pathogen interactions is useful to develop approaches to control plant diseases. Only a few studies have been published regarding the interaction of plant viruses with non-viral plant pathogens. We conducted a study using two near-isogenic lines of bell pepper (Capsicum annuum); one infected with bell pepper endornavirus (BPEV) and the other virus-free and two pepper pathogens; the fungus Colletotrichum sp., which causes anthracnose and the root- knot nematode Meloidogyne incognita. Detached leaves of the two bell pepper lines were inoculated using spore suspensions of Colletotrichum sp. Furthermore, in independent experiments the two lines were also inoculated with eggs of M. incognita. Leaves of the BPEV-infected line inoculated with Colletrotrichum sp. showed significantly greater lesion area compared to the BPEV-free line. The two bell pepper lines inoculated with M. incognita did not show differences in egg production, juvenile populations, plant dry, weight, or root weight. However, RT-qPCR analysis of BPEV showed a significant reduction of the virus titer in the nematode-inoculated plants. These results suggest that infections of bell pepper with BPEV might result in an increase of the severity of anthracnose. Nevertheless, infections of bell pepper with BPEV do not seem to affect the reproduction and damage potential of M. incognita.