Navazio, Lorella and Baldan, Barbara and Moscatiello, Roberto and Zuppini, Anna and Woo, Sheridan L and Mariani, Paola and Lorito, Matteo (2007) Calcium-mediated perception and defense responses activated in plant cells by metabolite mixtures secreted by the biocontrol fungus Trichoderma atroviride. [Online journal papers]
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Calcium is commonly involved as intracellular messenger in the transduction by plants of a wide range of biotic stimuli, including signals from pathogenic and symbiotic fungi. Trichoderma spp. are largely used in the biological control of plant diseases caused by fungal phytopathogens and are able to colonize plant roots. Early molecular events underlying their association with plants are relatively unknown.
Here, we investigated the effects on plant cells of metabolite complexes secreted by Trichoderma atroviride wild type P1 and a deletion mutant of this strain on the level of cytosolic free Ca2+ and activation of defense responses. Trichoderma culture filtrates were obtained by growing the fungus alone or in direct antagonism with its fungal host, the necrotrophic pathogen Botrytis cinerea, and then separated in two fractions (>3 and <3 kDa). When applied to aequorin-expressing soybean (Glycine max L.) cell suspension cultures, Trichoderma and Botrytis metabolite mixtures were distinctively perceived and activated transient intracellular Ca2+ elevations with different kinetics, specific patterns of intracellular accumulation of reactive oxygen species and induction of cell death. Both Ca2+ signature and cellular effects were modified by the culture medium from the knock-out mutant of Trichoderma, defective for the production of the secreted 42 kDa endochitinase.
New insights are provided into the mechanism of interaction between Trichoderma and plants, indicating that secreted fungal molecules are sensed by plant cells through intracellular Ca2+ changes. Plant cells are able to discriminate signals originating in the single or two-fungal partner interaction and modulate defense responses.
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