1Leiden University, Institute of Biology, Clusius Laboratory, Wassenaarseweg 64, 2333 AL Leiden, The Netherlands; 2All Russian Research Institute of Agricultural Microbiology, 3, Podbelsky Shossee, Saint-Petrsburg-Pushkin, Russia
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Accepted 21 June 2006.
The effects of the pathogenic fungus Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. radicis-lycopersici and of the bacterial biocontrol strain Pseudomonas fluorescens WCS365, and of both microbes, on the amounts and composition of root exudate components of tomato plants grown in a gnotobiotic stonewool substrate system were studied. Conditions were selected under which introduction of F. oxysporum f. sp. radicis-lycopersici caused severe foot and root rot, whereas inoculation of the seed with P. fluorescens WCS365 decreased the percentage of diseased plants from 96 to 7%. This is a much better disease control level than was observed in potting soil. Analysis of root exudate revealed that the presence of F. oxysporum f. sp. radicis-lycopersici did not alter the total amount of organic acids, but that the amount of citric acid decreased and that of succinic acid increased compared with the nontreated control. In contrast, in the presence of the P. fluorescens biocontrol strain WCS365, the total amount of organic acid increased, mainly due to a strong increase of the amount of citric acid, whereas the amount of succinic acid decreased dramatically. Under biocontrol conditions, when both microbes are present, the content of succinic acid decreased and the level of citric acid was similar to that in the nontreated control. The amount of sugar was approximately half that of the control sample when either one of the microbes was present alone or when both were present. Analysis of the interactions between the two microbes grown together in sterile tomato root exudate showed that WCS365 inhibited multiplication of F. oxysporum f. sp. radicis-lycopersici, whereas the fungus did not affect the number of CFU of the bacterium.
© 2006 The American Phytopathological Society