TRICHODERMA HARZIANUM T22 INDUCES IN MAIZE SYSTEMIC RESISTANCE AGAINST FUSARIUM VERTICILLIOIDES
D. Ferrigo, A. Raiola, E. Piccolo, C. Scopel, R. Causin
Fusarium verticillioides is one of the most common plant pathogenic fungi affecting maize causing ear and kernel rot. Nearly the totality of the fungal strains are able to produce mycotoxins known as fumonisins at very different levels. However, information on the ability of the biocontrol fungus Trichoderma harzianum to induce systemic resistance in maize against F. verticillioides is still lacking. We now show that, upon root colonization by T. harzianum, F. verticillioides consistently reduces maize disease symptoms. The enhanced activation of SA- and JA/ET-dependent defence responses indicates that resistance in maize is caused by a better perception of the fungal pathogen due to the effect of Trichoderma inocula. Seed biopriming with T. harzianum could be a useful strategy to control F. verticillioides infection and fumonisin accumulation under field conditions.