Research Article

Pathogen-induced activation of disease-suppressive functions in the endophytic root microbiome

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Science  01 Nov 2019:
Vol. 366, Issue 6465, pp. 606-612
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaw9285

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Protecting plants from the inside out

Some soils show a remarkable ability to suppress disease caused by plant pathogens, an ability that is attributed to plant-associated microbiota. Carrión et al. investigated the role of endophytes, the intimate microbial community found within roots, in fungal disease suppression (see the Perspective by Tringe). The wilt fungus Rhizoctonia solani infects sugar beets, whereupon transcriptional analysis shows that several bacterial endophyte species activate biosynthetic gene clusters to cause disease suppression. These organisms produce antifungal effectors, including enzymes that can digest fungal cell walls, and secondary metabolites, including phenazines, polyketides, and siderophores, which may contribute to the antifungal phenotype.

Science, this issue p. 606; see also p. 568

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