Crop Biotech Update

Proteins from Trichoderma Vital in Inducing Maize Resistance to Leaf Blight

February 11, 2015

Trichoderma virens and some Trichoderma species are considered as biocontrol fungi since they can stimulate defense responses by interacting with the host plant. Previous studies have shown that cerato-platanin proteins, Sm1 from T. virens as well as Epl1 from Trichoderma atroviride, are vital in inducing plant defenses. However, the other members of this protein family have not yet been investigated.

Verena Seidl-Seiboth from Vienna Institute of Technology in Austria developed sm1 and sm2 knockout strains and tested them by inducing systemic resistance in maize affected with Cochliobolus heterostrophus. The same procedure was also performed with T. atroviride epl1 and epl2 knockout strains.

Results show that T. virens was more effective in inducing resistance than T. atroviride. It was also revealed that plant protection was strongly reduced in plants treated with the sm2/epl2 knockout strains. This shows that sm2/epl2 proteins are more important for inducing plant protection against C. heterostrophus.

 Read the full article at http://www.biomedcentral.com/content/pdf/s12866-014-0333-0.pdf.