Fungal and plant gene expression during the colonization of cacao seedlings by endophytic isolates of four Trichoderma species
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- Bailey, B.A., Bae, H., Strem, M.D. et al. Planta (2006) 224: 1449. doi:10.1007/s00425-006-0314-0
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Endophytic isolates of Trichoderma species are being considered as biocontrol agents for diseases of Theobroma cacao (cacao). Gene expression was studied during the interaction between cacao seedlings and four endophytic Trichoderma isolates, T. ovalisporum-DIS 70a, T. hamatum-DIS 219b, T. harzianum-DIS 219f, and Trichoderma sp.-DIS 172ai. Isolates DIS 70a, DIS 219b, and DIS 219f were mycoparasitic on the pathogen Moniliophthora roreri, and DIS 172ai produced metabolites that inhibited growth of M. roreri in culture. ESTs (116) responsive to endophytic colonization of cacao were identified using differential display and their expression analyzed using macroarrays. Nineteen cacao ESTs and 17 Trichoderma ESTs were chosen for real-time quantitative PCR analysis. Seven cacao ESTs were induced during colonization by the Trichoderma isolates. These included putative genes for ornithine decarboxylase (P1), GST-like proteins (P4), zinc finger protein (P13), wound-induced protein (P26), EF-calcium-binding protein (P29), carbohydrate oxidase (P59), and an unknown protein (U4). Two plant ESTs, extensin-like protein (P12) and major intrinsic protein (P31), were repressed due to colonization. The plant gene expression profile was dependent on the Trichoderma isolate colonizing the cacao seedling. The fungal ESTs induced in colonized cacao seedlings also varied with the Trichoderma isolate used. The most highly induced fungal ESTs were putative glucosyl hydrolase family 2 (F3), glucosyl hydrolase family 7 (F7), serine protease (F11), and alcohol oxidase (F19). The pattern of altered gene expression suggests a complex system of genetic cross talk occurs between the cacao tree and Trichoderma isolates during the establishment of the endophytic association.