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Sclerotia degradation by Trichoderma-mycoparasitic; an effective and sustainable trend in the drop lettuce disease control caused by Sclerotinia sclerotiorum

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Controlling the hazard of sclerotia produced by the Sclerotinia sclerotiorum is very complex, and it is urgent to adopt an effective method that is harmonious environmentally to control the disease. Among the six isolates isolated from the rhizosphere of lettuce, the isolate HZA84 demonstrated a high activity in its antagonism towards Sclerotinia sclerotiorum in vitro, and produces siderophore. By amplification of internal transcribed spacer (ITS), translation elongation factor 1-alpha (TEF1-α), and RNA polymerase II subunit (RPB2) genes, the isolate HZA84 was identified as Trichoderma asperellum, which was confirmed by analysis of phylogenetic tree. The Scanning electron microscope monitoring detected that the isolate HZA84 spread over the sclerotial surface, thus, damaging, decomposing, and distorting the globular cells of the outer cortex of the sclerotia. The Real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) analysis disclosed the overexpression of two genes (chit33 and chit37) encoding the endochitinase in addition to one gene (prb1) encoding the proteinase during 4 and 8 days of the parasitism behavior of isolate HZA84 on the sclerotia surface. These enzymes aligned together in the sclerotia destruction by hyperparasitism. On the other hand, the pots trial revealed that spraying of isolate HZA84 reduced the drop disease symptoms of lettuce. The disease severity was decreased by 19.33 and the biocontrol efficiency was increased by 80.67% within the fourth week of inoculation. These findings magnify the unique role of Trichoderma in disrupting the development of plant diseases in sustainable ways.

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The datasets generated during and/or analysed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.


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The authors extend their appreciation to the Researchers Supporting Project (RSP2024R120), King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.


This work was funded by the Researchers Supporting Project (RSP2024R120), King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

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All authors contributed to the study conception and design. Conceptualization and methodology were painted by [Ali Athafah Tomah] and [Solabomi Olaitan Ogunyemi]. Data was curated by [Ali Athafah Tomah], [Solabomi Olaitan Ogunyemi], and [Mohamed Mohany]. The investigation was by [Arif Ali Khattak] and [Mohammed Hamdan Aldarraji]. The first draft of the manuscript was written by [Mohammed Hamdan Aldarraji], [Ali Abbas Hashim Al-Maidi], and [Arif Ali Khattak]. Writing-review, and editing were by [Ali Athafah Tomah], [Solabomi Olaitan Ogunyemi], [Mohamed Mohany], and [Salim S. Al-Rejaie]. Resources were collected by [Mohamed Mohany], and [Salim S. Al-Rejaie]. Original drafting and final was written by [Mohammed Hamdan Aldarraji], [Ali Abbas Hashim Al-Maidi], [Mohamed Mohany], and [Salim S. Al-Rejaie]. All authors have read and agreed to the submitted version of the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Ali Athafah Tomah or Solabomi Olaitan Ogunyemi.

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Communicated by Nischitha R.

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Tomah, A.A., Khattak, A.A., Aldarraji, M.H. et al. Sclerotia degradation by Trichoderma-mycoparasitic; an effective and sustainable trend in the drop lettuce disease control caused by Sclerotinia sclerotiorum. Arch Microbiol 206, 286 (2024).

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