Impact of Piriformospora indica in tomato growth and on interaction with fungal and viral pathogenes.
Piriformospora indica is a root endophytic fungus with plant-promoting properties in numerous plant species and induces resistance against root and shoot pathogens in barley, wheat, and Arabidopsis. A study over several years showed that the endophyte P. indica colonised the roots of the most consumed vegetable crop tomato. P. indica improved the growth of tomato resulting in increased biomass of leaves by up to 20%. Limitation of disease severity caused by Verticillium dahliae by more than 30% was observed on tomato plants colonised by the endophyte. Further experiments were carried out in hydroponic cultures which are commonly used for the indoor production of tomatoes in central Europe. After adaptation of inoculation techniques (inoculum density, plant stage), it was shown that P. indica influences the concentration of Pepino mosaic virus in tomato shoots. The outcome of the interaction seems to be affected by light intensity. Most importantly, the endophyte increases tomato fruit biomass in hydroponic culture concerning fresh weight (up to 100%) and dry matter content (up to 20%). Hence, P. indica represents a suitable growth promoting endophyte for tomato which can be applied in production systems of this important vegetable plant not only in soil, but also in hydroponic cultures.
Fakhro, A.; Andrade-Linares, D.R.; von Bargen, S.; Bandte, M.; Büttner, C.; Grosch, R.; Schwarz, D.; Franken, Ph. 2010. Impact of Piriformospora indica in tomato growth and on interaction with fungal and viral pathogenes. Mycorrhiza 20 (3), 191-200.