Exposure in vitro to an Environmentally Isolated Strain TC09 of Cladosporium sphaerospermum Triggers Plant Growth Promotion, Early Flowering, and Fruit Yield Increase

Frontiers in Plant Science
Zhijian T LiChris Dardick


A growing number of bacteria and fungi have been found to promote plant growth through mutualistic interactions involving elements such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Here, we report the identification of an environmentally isolated strain of Cladosporium sphaerospermum (herein named TC09), that substantially enhances plant growth after exposure in vitro beyond what has previously been reported. When cultured on Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium under in vitro conditions, tobacco seedlings (Nicotiana tabacum) exposed to TC09 cultures for 20 days increased stem height and whole plant biomass up to 25- and 15-fold, respectively, over controls without exposure. TC09-mediated growth promotion required >5 g/L sucrose in the plant culture medium and was influenced by the duration of exposure ranging from one to 10 days, beyond which no differences were detected. When transplanted to soil under greenhouse conditions, TC09-exposed tobacco plants retained higher rates of growth. Comparative transcriptome analyses using tobacco seedlings exposed to TC09 for 10 days uncovered differentially expressed genes (DEGs) associated with diverse biological processes including cell expansion and cell cycle, photosynthesis, phytohormone homeost...Continue Reading


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