Differential expression analysis of Trichoderma virens RNA reveals a dynamic transcriptome during colonization of Zea mays roots. Academic Article uri icon


  • BACKGROUND: Trichoderma spp. are majorly composed of plant-beneficial symbionts widely used in agriculture as bio-control agents. Studying the mechanisms behind Trichoderma-derived plant benefits has yielded tangible bio-industrial products. To better take advantage of this fungal-plant symbiosis it is necessary to obtain detailed knowledge of which genes Trichoderma utilizes during interaction with its plant host. In this study, we explored the transcriptional activity undergone by T. virens during two phases of symbiosis with maize; recognition of roots and after ingress into the root cortex. RESULTS: We present a model of T. virens - maize interaction wherein T. virens experiences global repression of transcription upon recognition of maize roots and then induces expression of a broad spectrum of genes during colonization of maize roots. The genes expressed indicate that, during colonization of maize roots, T. virens modulates biosynthesis of phytohormone-like compounds, secretes a plant-environment specific array of cell wall degrading enzymes and secondary metabolites, remodels both actin-based and cell membrane structures, and shifts metabolic activity. We also highlight transcription factors and signal transduction genes important in future research seeking to unravel the molecular mechanisms of T. virens activity in maize roots. CONCLUSIONS: T. virens displays distinctly different transcriptional profiles between recognizing the presence of maize roots and active colonization of these roots. A though understanding of these processes will allow development of T. virens as a bio-control agent. Further, the publication of these datasets will target future research endeavors specifically to genes of interest when considering T. virens - maize symbiosis.

published proceedings

  • BMC Genomics

altmetric score

  • 2

author list (cited authors)

  • Malinich, E. A., Wang, K., Mukherjee, P. K., Kolomiets, M., & Kenerley, C. M.

citation count

  • 23

complete list of authors

  • Malinich, Elizabeth A||Wang, Ken||Mukherjee, Prasun K||Kolomiets, Michael||Kenerley, Charles M

publication date

  • January 2019