Seed treatments with Trichoderma harzianum alleviates biotic, abiotic and physiological stresses in germinating seeds and seedlings.

06:00 EDT 24th July 2010 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Seed treatments with Trichoderma harzianum alleviates biotic, abiotic and physiological stresses in germinating seeds and seedlings."

Trichoderma spp. are endophytic plant symbionts that are widely used as seed treatments to control diseases and to enhance plant growth and yield. While some recent work has been published on their abilities to alleviate abiotic stresses, specific knowledge of mechanisms, abilities to control multiple plant stress factors and their effects on seeds and seedlings is lacking. We examined the effects of seed treatment with T. harzianum strain T22 on germination of seeds exposed to biotic stress (seed and seedling disease caused by Pythium ultimum) and abiotic stresses (osmotic, salinity, chilling, or heat stress). We also evaluated the ability of the beneficial fungus to overcome physiological stress (poor seed quality induced by seed aging). If seeds were not under any of the stresses noted above, T22 generally had little effect upon seedling performance. However, under stress treated seeds germinated consistently faster and more uniformly than untreated seeds whether the stress was osmotic, salt or suboptimal temperatures. The consistent response to varying stresses suggests a common mechanism through which the plant-fungal association enhances tolerance to a wide range of abiotic stresses as well as biotic stress. A common factor that negatively affects plants under these stress conditions is accumulation of toxic reactive oxygen species (ROS), and we tested the hypothesis that T22 reduced damages resulting from accumulation of ROS in stressed plants. Treatment of seeds reduced accumulation of lipid peroxides in seedlings under osmotic stress or in aged seeds. In addition, we showed the effect of exogenous application of an antioxidant, glutathione, or application of T22, resulted in similar positive effect on seed germination under osmotic stress or in aged seeds. These evidences support the model that Trichoderma harzianum strain T22 increases seedling vigor and ameliorates stress by inducing plants physiological protection against oxidative damage.


Cornell University, Horticultural Science, 630 W. North Street, Sturtevant Hall, Geneva, New York, United States, 14456; ;

Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Phytopathology
ISSN: 0031-949X


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