Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/27/2020
Publication Date: 7/31/2020
Citation: Kemp, N., Bakker, M., McCormick, S.P., Vaughan, M.M. 2020. Stenotrophomonas bacteria readily colonizes Fusarium graminearum perithecia and reduced perithecia formation [abstract].
Technical Abstract: Fusarium graminearum (Fg) is the primary fungal pathogen responsible for Fusarium head blight (FHB), a devastating disease of wheat and barley worldwide. In regions where Fusarium inoculum is limited, the severity of FHB epidemics and accumulation of trichothecene mycotoxins in grain is strongly driven by the coincidence of inoculum formation during flowering when the plant is most susceptible. An unexplored route to reducing inoculum availability is to recruit parasites of perithecia to reduce the success of spore production or active discharge. A microbiome analysis of Fg perithecia identified a bacterial strain of Stenotrophomonas from soil that readily colonized Fg perithecia, and reduced perithecia formation by approximately half. Additionally, genome sequencing analysis revealed that a Fg strain, F131, was heavily contaminated with a bacterial symbiont also identified as Stenotrophomonas. This bacterial association between F131 and Stenotrophomonas inhibits perithecia formation to an even greater extent. In comparison to F131 that had been cured of the bacterium via antibiotics, the F131 that was associated with Stenotrophomonas produced 4-fold fewer perithecia. Further exploration is warranted to determine whether bacterial associates that reduce the success of Fg spore production may be useful in managing FHB.