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Microbiology. 2012 Jan;158(Pt 1):129-38. doi: 10.1099/mic.0.053140-0. Epub 2011 Sep 21.

The qid74 gene from Trichoderma harzianum has a role in root architecture and plant biofertilization.

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Spanish-Portuguese Center for Agricultural Research (CIALE), Department of Microbiology and Genetics, University of Salamanca, Campus of Villamayor, 37185 Salamanca, Spain.


The Trichoderma harzianum qid74 gene encodes a cysteine-rich cell wall protein that has an important role in adherence to hydrophobic surfaces and cellular protection; this gene was upregulated in Trichoderma high-density oligonucleotide (HDO) microarrays in interaction with tomato roots. Using a collection of qid74-overexpressing and disrupted mutants the role of this gene in cucumber and tomato root architecture was analysed in hydroponic and soil systems under greenhouse conditions. No significant differences were found in the pattern of root colonization and the length of primary roots of cucumber or tomato plants inoculated by T. harzianum CECT 2413 wild-type (wt) strain or any of the qid74 transformants. However, compared to the wt treatment, lateral roots were significantly longer in plants inoculated with the overexpressing transformants, and shorter in those treated with the disruptant strains. Microscopic observations revealed more and longer secondary root hairs in cucumber plants treated with the qid74-overexpressing mutants and fewer and shorter hairs in roots treated with qid74-disrupted transformants, compared to those observed in plants inoculated with the wt strain. qid74-induced modifications in root architecture increased the total absorptive surface, facilitating nutrient uptake and translocation of nutrients in the shoots, resulting in increased plant biomass through an efficient use of NPK and micronutrients.

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