Plant and Soil

, Volume 357, Issue 1, pp 245–257

Biochar mediates systemic response of strawberry to foliar fungal pathogens

  • Yael Meller Harel
  • Yigal Elad
  • Dalia Rav-David
  • Menachem Borenstein
  • Ran Shulchani
  • Beni Lew
  • Ellen R. Graber
Regular Article

DOI: 10.1007/s11104-012-1129-3

Cite this article as:
Meller Harel, Y., Elad, Y., Rav-David, D. et al. Plant Soil (2012) 357: 245. doi:10.1007/s11104-012-1129-3

Abstract

Background and Aims

Various biochars added to soil have been shown to improve plant performance. Moreover, a wood biochar was found to induce tomato and pepper plant systemic resistance to two foliar fungal pathogens. The aim of this study was to explore the ability of wood biochar and greenhouse waste biochar to induce systemic resistance in strawberry plants against Botrytis cinerea, Colletotrichum acutatum and Podosphaera apahanis, and to examine at the molecular level some of their impacts on plant defense mechanisms.

Methods

Disease development tests on plants grown on 1 or 3% biochar-amended potting mixture, and quantification of relative expression of 5 plant defense-related genes (FaPR1, Faolp2, Fra a3, Falox, and FaWRKY1) by real-time PCR were carried out.

Results

Biochar addition to the potting medium of strawberry plants suppressed diseases caused by the three fungi, which have very different infection strategies. This suggests that biochar stimulated a range of general defense pathways, as confirmed by results of qPCR study of defense-related gene expression. Furthermore, primed-state of defense-related gene expression was observed upon infection by B. cinerea and P. aphanis.

Conclusion

The ability of biochar amendment to promote transcriptional changes along different plant defense pathways probably contributes to its broad spectrum capacity for disease suppression.

Keywords

Biotic stressInduced systemic resistancePlant diseasePrimingSystemic acquired resistanceSystemic resistance

Abbreviations

qPCR

real time quantitative PCR

RT

reverse transcription

IR

induced resistance

ISR

induced systemic resistance

SAR

systemic acquired resistance

HR

hypersensitive reaction

PR

pathogenesis related proteins

SA

salicylic acid

PGPR

plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria

PGPF

plant growth-promoting fungi

ET

ethylene

JA

jasmonic acid

MeJA

methyl jasmonate

CW

biochar produced from citrus wood

GHW-450

biochar produced from greenhouse waste at 450°C

AUDPC

area under the disease progress curve

Ct

cycle threshold

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yael Meller Harel
    • 1
  • Yigal Elad
    • 1
  • Dalia Rav-David
    • 1
  • Menachem Borenstein
    • 1
  • Ran Shulchani
    • 1
  • Beni Lew
    • 2
  • Ellen R. Graber
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Plant Pathology and Weed Research, Institute of Plant Protection, The Volcani CenterAgricultural Research OrganizationBet DaganIsrael
  2. 2.Department of Growing, Production and Environmental Engineering, Institute of Agricultural Engineering, The Volcani CenterAgricultural Research OrganizationBet DaganIsrael
  3. 3.Department of Soil Chemistry, Plant Nutrition and Microbiology, Institute of Soil, Water and Environmental Sciences, The Volcani CenterAgricultural Research OrganizationBet DaganIsrael