EU - iTRIS - Interaction Trichoderma-Stenotrophomonas and its effect on plant growth and health

Project: Research project

Project Details


The use of beneficial microorganisms to suppress plant diseases has become a reliable alternative to reduce the application
of pesticides. There is a strong growing market for microbial inoculants worldwide with an annual growth rate of approximately
10%. The use of Omic technologies leads to products with more predictable and consistent effect. The future success of
biological control will depend on interdisciplinary researches about the ecological interactions taking place in soil and root
Aim of the present research is to gain insight on the interaction between biological control agents (BCAs) and to assess its
potential synergistic effect on suppression of the fungal pathogen Verticillium dahliae and on plant growth and health. The
protagonists of the research are one of the most important beneficial fungus for agriculture, Trichoderma velutinum G1/8 and
one of the most promising candidate for application as a BCA and plant growth promotion, the bacterium Stenotrophomonas
rhizophila DSM14405T. Character of absolute innovation is the assessment of the role played by secondary metabolites and
volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the interaction between the BCAs, between the BCAs and the pathogen and between
the BCAs and the plant.
Controlled lab-based and environmental microcosms will be developed to carry out the molecular ecological interactions.
DNA-based methodologies in combination with proteomic and confocal laser scanning microscopy will be used to assess the
dynamics of interaction, biocontrol activity and expression of each others primary biocontrol genes.
This research effort will result in new knowledge of the mode of the interaction between BCAs, BCAs and the pathogen, and
BCAs and the plant. This will constitute the basis for the development of innovative biotechnological applications.
Effective start/end date1/06/1331/05/15


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