Burkholderia cepacia complex (Bcc) bacteria are naturally present in the rhizosphere of several crop plants and have been found to antagonize a wide range of important plant pathogens. In this study, we evaluated the effect of the pathogenic fungus Fusarium verticillioides on Bcc populations recovered from the roots of Zea mays plants. Maize plants were cultivated under greenhouse conditions and bacterial colonies were randomly isolated from distinct root portions of Fusarium-treated and control plants. We obtained a total of 120 Bcc isolates which all belonged to the species Burkholderia cenocepacia, a species of the Bcc widely distributed in natural habitats such as the rhizosphere of several crop plants. Results obtained revealed that the presence of the plant pathogen F. verticillioides had an effect at the root colonization level of B. cenocepacia populations, since an increase in indigenous B. cenocepacia bacteria was found in the rhizospheres of maize plants grown in infested soil, compared to the rhizospheres of control plants. The analysis of diversity indices as well as the investigation of genetic polymorphism of B. cenocepacia strains, isolated from Fusarium-treated and control root portions, revealed greater genetic variability in the presence of F. verticillioides, especially in the terminal root system portion. Finally, all B. cenocepacia isolates were also tested for in vitro inhibition of F. verticillioides growth as a functional property. Our results revealed that all B. cenocepacia isolates were able to restrict in vitro fungal growth, suggesting that there was no relationship between genetic polymorphism and biocontrol traits. © 2005 Elsevier SAS. All rights reserved.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology