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FEMS Microbiol Ecol. 2004 Jun 1;48(3):447-55. doi: 10.1016/j.femsec.2004.03.002.

Signaling between bacterial and fungal biocontrol agents in a strain mixture.

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Institute of Plant Sciences, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zürich, Switzerland.


The use of bacterial and fungal strain mixtures is a promising way to improve efficacy of biocontrol treatments. Certain Pseudomonas and Trichoderma strains belong to the most common studied biocontrol agents. One key factor for the biocontrol efficacy of several P. fluorescens strains is the synthesis of 2,4-diacetylphloroglucinol (DAPG). Production of chitinases, such as the ECH42 endochitinase and the NAG1 N-acetyl-beta-d-glucosaminidase, is a primary mechanism of action for T. atroviride. We examined the molecular interactions between the DAPG-producing P. fluorescens strains CHA0 and Q2-87 and chitinase-producing T. atroviride P1. Interactions were monitored using the reporter gene constructs, phlA'-'lacZ translational fusion in P. fluorescens CHA0 and ech42-goxA or nag1-goxA fusions in T. atroviride P1. We found that DAPG enhanced nag1, but not ech42 expression, whereas an unidentified substance from P. fluorescens CHA0 repressed expression of both Trichoderma chitinases. Addition of T. atroviride P1 culture filtrates to growing cultures of P. fluorescens enhanced phlA expression transiently during growth. These results indicate that negative and positive effects on expression of key biocontrol genes may occur while mixing antagonists.

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