Trichoderma virens and Pseudomonas chlororaphis Differentially Regulate Maize Resistance to Anthracnose Leaf Blight and Insect Herbivores When Grown in Sterile versus Non-Sterile Soils. Academic Article uri icon


  • Soil-borne Trichoderma spp. have been extensively studied for their biocontrol activities against pathogens and growth promotion ability in plants. However, the beneficial effect of Trichoderma on inducing resistance against insect herbivores has been underexplored. Among diverse Trichoderma species, consistent with previous reports, we showed that root colonization by T. virens triggered induced systemic resistance (ISR) to the leaf-infecting hemibiotrophic fungal pathogens Colletotrichum graminicola. Whether T. virens induces ISR to insect pests has not been tested before. In this study, we investigated whether T. virens affects jasmonic acid (JA) biosynthesis and defense against fall armyworm (FAW) and western corn rootworm (WCR). Unexpectedly, the results showed that T. virens colonization of maize seedlings grown in autoclaved soil suppressed wound-induced production of JA, resulting in reduced resistance to FAW. Similarly, the bacterial endophyte Pseudomonas chlororaphis 30-84 was found to suppress systemic resistance to FAW due to reduced JA. Further comparative analyses of the systemic effects of these endophytes when applied in sterile or non-sterile field soil showed that both T. virens and P. chlororaphis 30-84 triggered ISR against C. graminicola in both soil conditions, but only suppressed JA production and resistance to FAW in sterile soil, while no significant impact was observed when applied in non-sterile soil. In contrast to the effect on FAW defense, T. virens colonization of maize roots suppressed WCR larvae survival and weight gain. This is the first report suggesting the potential role of T. virens as a biocontrol agent against WCR.

published proceedings

  • Plants (Basel)

author list (cited authors)

  • Huang, P., Yuan, P., Grunseich, J. M., Taylor, J., Tinbo, E., Pierson, E. A., ... Kolomiets, M. V.

complete list of authors

  • Huang, Pei-Cheng||Yuan, Peiguo||Grunseich, John M||Taylor, James||Tiénébo, Eric-Olivier||Pierson, Elizabeth A||Bernal, Julio S||Kenerley, Charles M||Kolomiets, Michael V

publication date

  • April 2024


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