Cross-kingdom synthetic microbiota supports tomato suppression of Fusarium wilt disease

Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) is one of the most widely grown vegetables worldwide, and the increasing market demand is met by large-scale greenhouse cultivation. Owning to the widespread application of agrochemicals and monoculture farming, outbreaks of fungal diseases, such as wilt disease caused by Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. lycopersici (FOL), have been frequently reported. Fusarium wilt disease (FWD) has become one of the most significant diseases leading to tomato yield losses, and its prevention and control have become a global concern1,2. In China, the increased incidence of FWD in the greenhouse has severely impacted the development of the tomato industry. 

The role of rhizosphere microbiota in the resistance of tomato plants against soil-borne Fusarium wilt disease (FWD) remains unclear. Here, the researchers showed that the FWD incidence was significantly negatively correlated with the diversity of both rhizosphere bacterial and fungal communities. Using the microbiological culturomic approach, the researchers selected 205 unique strains to construct different synthetic communities (SynComs), which were inoculated into germ-free tomato seedlings, and their roles in suppressing FWD were monitored using the omics approach.

Cross-kingdom (fungi and bacteria) SynComs were most effective in suppressing FWD than those of Fungal or Bacterial SynComs alone. This effect was underpinned by a combination of molecular mechanisms related to plant immunity, and microbial interactions contributed by the bacterial and fungal communities. This study provides new insight into the dynamics of microbiota in pathogen suppression and host immunity interactions. Also, the formulation and manipulation of SynComs for functional complementation constitute a beneficial strategy in controlling the soil-borne disease.

Read the complete research at

Zhou, X., Wang, J., Liu, F. et al. Cross-kingdom synthetic microbiota supports tomato suppression of Fusarium wilt disease. Nat Commun 13, 7890 (2022). 

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