Endophytic Trichoderma strains isolated from forest species of the Cerrado-Caatinga ecotone are potential biocontrol agents against crop pathogenic fungi

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Morais E.M.
Silva A.Ap.R.
De Sousa F.W.A.
De Azevedo I.M.B.
Silva H.F.
Santos A.M.G.
Beserra J.E.A.
De Carvalho C.P.
Eberlin M.N.
Porcari A.M.
Da Silva Araujo F.D.
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© 2022 Morais et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.The indiscriminate use of chemical pesticides increasingly harms the health of living beings and the environment. Thus, biological control carried out by microorganisms has gained prominence, since it consists of an environmentally friendly alternative to the use of pesticides for controlling plant diseases. Herein, we evaluated the potential role of endophytic Trichoderma strains isolated from forest species of the Cerrado-Caatinga ecotone as biological control agents of crop pathogenic fungi. Nineteen Trichoderma strains were used to assess the antagonistic activity by in vitro bioassays against the plant pathogens Colletotrichum truncatum, Lasiodiplodia theobromae, Macrophomina phaseolina, and Sclerotium delphinii isolated from soybean, cacao, fava bean, and black pepper crops, respectively. All Trichoderma strains demonstrated inhibitory activity on pathogen mycelial growth, with maximum percent inhibition of 70% against C. truncatum, 78% against L. theobromae, 78% against M. phaseolina, and 69% against S. delphinii. Crude methanol extracts (0.5 to 2.0 mg mL-1) of Trichoderma strains were able to inhibit the growth of C. truncatum, except Trichoderma sp. T3 (UFPIT06) and T. orientale (UFPIT09 and UFPIT17) at 0.5 mg mL-1, indicating that the endophytes employ a biocontrol mechanism related to antibiosis, together with multiple mechanisms. Discriminant metabolites of Trichoderma extracts were unveiled by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry-based metabolomics combined with principal component analysis (PCA), which included antifungal metabolites and molecules with other bioactivities. These results highlight the biocontrol potential of Trichoderma strains isolated from the Cerrado-Caatinga ecotone against crop pathogenic fungi, providing support for ongoing research on disease control in agriculture.
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Antibiosis , Crops, Agricultural , Fabaceae , Forests , Fungi , Pesticides , Plant Diseases , Plant Extracts , Trichoderma
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