Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Identification and Characterization of Arbutus Unedo L. Endophytic Bacteria Isolated From Wild and Cultivated Trees for the Biological Control of Phytophthora

Version 1 : Received: 5 July 2021 / Approved: 6 July 2021 / Online: 6 July 2021 (09:42:41 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Martins, J.; Ares, A.; Casais, V.; Costa, J.; Canhoto, J. Identification and Characterization of Arbutus unedo L. Endophytic Bacteria Isolated from Wild and Cultivated Trees for the Biological Control of Phytophthora cinnamomi. Plants 2021, 10, 1569. Martins, J.; Ares, A.; Casais, V.; Costa, J.; Canhoto, J. Identification and Characterization of Arbutus unedo L. Endophytic Bacteria Isolated from Wild and Cultivated Trees for the Biological Control of Phytophthora cinnamomi. Plants 2021, 10, 1569.

Journal reference: Plants 2021, 10, 1569
DOI: 10.3390/plants10081569

Abstract

Arbutus unedo L. is a resilient tree with a circum-Mediterranean distribution. Besides its ecological relevance, it is vital for local economies as a fruit tree. Several microorganisms are responsible for strawberry tree diseases leading to production constrictions. Thus, the development of alternative plant protection strategies is necessary and bacteria endophytes may increase their host overall fitness and productivity. As agricultural practices are a driving factor of microbiota, this paper aimed to isolate, identify and characterize endophytic bacteria from strawberry tree leaves from plants growing spontaneously in a natural environment as well as from plants growing on orchards. 62 endophytes were isolated from leaves and identified as Bacillus, Paenibacillus, Pseudomonas, Sphingomonas and Staphylococcus. Although a slightly higher number of species was found in wild plants, no differences in terms of diversity indexes were found. Sixteen isolates were tested in vitro for their antagonistic effect against A. unedo mycopathogens. B. cereus was the most effective antagonist causing a growth reduction of 20% in Glomerella cingulata and 40% in Phytophthora cinnamomi and Mycosphaerella aurantia. Also, several endophytic isolates exhibited plant growth-promoting potential. This study provides insights into the diversity of endophytic bacteria in A. unedo leaves and their potential role as growth-promoters and pathogen antagonists.

Subject Areas

Arbutus unedo; Bacillus cereus; Bacteria endophytes; Biological control; Phytophthora cinnamomi

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