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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2020

Substrate and Plant Genotype Strongly Influence the Growth and Gene Expression Response to Trichoderma afroharzianum T22 in Sugar Beet

Schmidt, John; Dotson, Bradley R.; Schmiderer, Ludwig; van Tour, Adriaan; Kumar, Banushree; Marttila, Salla; Fredlund, Kenneth M.; Widell, Susanne; Rasmusson, Allan G.


Many strains ofTrichodermafungi have beneficial effects on plant growth and pathogen control, but little is known about the importance of plant genotype, nor the underlying mechanisms. We aimed to determine the effect of sugar beet genotypic variation onTrichodermabiostimulation. The effect ofTrichoderma afroharzianumT22 on sugar beet inbred genotypes were investigated in soil and on sterile agar medium regarding plant growth, and by quantitative reverse transcriptase-linked polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) analysis for gene expression. In soil, T22 application induced up to 30% increase or decrease in biomass, depending on plant genotype. In contrast, T22 treatment of sterile-grown seedlings resulted in a general decrease in fresh weight and root length across all sugar beet genotypes. Root colonization of T22 did not vary between the sugar beet genotypes. Sand- and sterile-grown roots were investigated by qRT-PCR for expression of marker genes for pathogen response pathways. Genotype-dependent effects of T22 on, especially, the jasmonic acid/ethylene expression markerPR3were observed, and the effects were further dependent on the growth system used. Thus, both growth substrate and sugar beet genotype strongly affect the outcome of inoculation withT. afroharzianumT22.


Beta vulgaris; gene expression; growth stimulation; inbred genotypes; pathogen response pathways; Trichoderma afroharzianum

Published in

2020, volume: 9, number: 8, article number: 1005
Publisher: MDPI

Authors' information

Schmidt, John
Lund University
Dotson, Bradley R.
Lund University
Schmiderer, Ludwig
Lund University
van Tour, Adriaan
Lund University
Kumar, Banushree
Lund University
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Plant Protection Biology
Fredlund, Kenneth M.
MariboHilleshög Research
Widell, Susanne
Lund University
Rasmusson, Allan G.
Lund University

Associated SLU-program

SLU Network Plant Protection

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