A Volatile Relationship: Profiling an Inter-Kingdom Dialogue Between two Plant Pathogens, Ralstonia Solanacearum and Aspergillus Flavus
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Microbes in the rhizosphere have a suite of extracellular compounds, both primary and secondary, that communicate with other organisms in their immediate environment. Here, we describe a two-way volatile interaction between two widespread and economically important soil-borne pathogens of peanut, Aspergillus flavus and Ralstonia solanacearum, a fungus and bacterium, respectively. In response to A. flavus volatiles, R. solanacearum reduced production of the major virulence factor extracellular polysaccharide (EPS). In parallel, A. flavus responded to R. solanacearum volatiles by reducing conidia production, both on plates and on peanut seeds and by increasing aflatoxin production on peanut. Volatile profiling of these organisms using solid-phase micro-extraction gas chromatography mass spectroscopy (SPME-GCMS) provided a first glimpse at the compounds that may drive these interactions.
KeywordsAspergillus flavus Ralstonia solanacearum Inter-kingdom Volatile organic compounds Extracellular polysaccharides Conidiation Aflatoxin
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under grant no. EFRI-1136903 to N.P.K. and an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship under grant no. DGE-1256259 to J.E.S. We thank Dr. Gabriel Peckham at Black Ivory Biotech for the 3. H7 cell lines, and James Starr of Texas A&M University for peanuts used in these experiments.
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