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Systemic Resistance to Gray Mold Induced in Tomato by Benzothiadiazole and Trichoderma harzianum T39

February 2014 , Volume 104 , Number  2
Pages  150 - 157

Yael Meller Harel, Zeraye Haile Mehari, Dalia Rav-David, and Yigal Elad

Department of Plant Pathology and Weed Research, Agricultural Research Organization, The Volcani Center, Bet Dagan 50250, Israel.

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Accepted for publication 12 September 2013.

Gray mold (Botrytis cinerea) is an important disease of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum). This study examined defense-related gene expression involved in the resistance to B. cinerea that is induced in tomato plants by benzothiadiazole and Trichoderma harzianum T39 soil drench. In whole plants, transcriptional changes related to salicylic acid and ethylene were induced by the application of a 0.01% benzothiadiazole solution, whereas changes related to jasmonic acid were induced by the application of a 0.4% T39 suspension. On detached leaves, soil treatment by T39 led to enhanced resistance to B. cinerea infection that was proportional to the concentration of the T39 suspension. By 5 days after pathogen inoculation, the plants that had received the 0.04% T39 drench exhibited 62% less severe disease than the untreated plants. The 0.4% T39 drench led to an 84% reduction in disease severity. Observations of B. cinerea infection in leaves harvested from plants grown in the treated soils revealed that drenching with a T39 suspension induces systemic resistance against B. cinerea and primes salicylic acid- and ethylene-related gene expression in a manner proportional to the concentration of the biocontrol agent. Benzothiadiazole treatment induced resistance to gray mold independently of salicylic acid and led to strong priming of two genes known to be involved in defense against B. cinerea, Pti5 and PI2.

Additional keywords:control agents.

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