Bacillus methylotrophicus M4-96 Stimulates the Growth of Strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa ‘Aromas’) Plants In Vitro and Slows Botrytis cinerea Infection by Two Different Methods of Interaction
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Bacillus methylotrophicus M4-96 is a beneficial rhizobacterium that has been isolated from the rhizosphere of maize (Zea mays). In this study, we investigated its efficacy as a plant growth promoter for strawberry in vitro, as well as its ability to induce callose deposition in leaves to reduce the severity of Botrytis cinerea infection. Two methods of plant-bacterial interaction were used: inoculation near the root and emission of volatile compounds with no physical contact. Plant biomass increased under both treatments, but with developmental parameters of the plants differentially stimulated by each method. Root inoculation increased petiole number and root length, whereas bacterial volatiles increased petiole length and root number. A chemical analysis of the bacterial culture revealed the presence of indole acetic acid (0.21 μg L−1) and gibberellic acid (6.16 μg L−1). Acetoin was previously identified as the major volatile produced by the bacteria, and its application to strawberry explants increased their growth and development. Furthermore, when acetoin and both phytoregulators were added to the culture media, these positive effects were enhanced. The inoculation method also affected the size and quantity of callose deposits in the leaves. Treatment with volatiles increased callose deposition in the leaves by up to five-fold, which promoted a rapid defense reaction that inhibited the incidence of gray mold by reinforcing cell wall. Taken together, our results show that B. methylotrophicus M4-96 promotes growth and induces systemic resistance in strawberry plants.
KeywordsPGPR Bacillus methylotrophicus Volatiles Strawberry Gibberellin Auxin Callose deposit Botrytis cinerea
We gratefully acknowledge the Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT) (Grant Number 165738) and the Consejo de la Investigación Científica (UMSNH) (Grant Number 2.24) for financial support. A. Vicente-Hernández is indebted to CONACYT for providing a Master’s fellowship.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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