Antonie van Leeuwenhoek

Synergism between fungal enzymes and bacterial antibiotics may enhance biocontrol.

PMID 12448733


The interactions between biocontrol fungi and bacteria may play a key role in the natural process of biocontrol, although the molecular mechanisms involved are still largely unknown. Synergism can occur when different agents are applied together, and cell wall degrading enzymes (CWDEs) produced by fungi can increase the efficacy of bacteria. Pseudomonas spp. produce membrane-disrupting lipodepsipeptides (LDPs) syringotoxins (SP) and syringomycins (SR). SR are considered responsible for the antimicrobial activity, and SP for the phytotoxicity. CWDEs of Trichoderma spp. synergistically increased the toxicity of SP25-A or SRE purified from P. syringae against fungal pathogens. For instance, the fungal enzymes made Botrytis cinerea and other phytopathogenic fungi, normally resistant to SP25-A alone, more susceptible to this antibiotic. Pseudomonas produced CWDEs in culture conditions that allow the synthesis of the LDPs. Purified bacterial enzymes and metabolites were also synergistic against fungal pathogens, although this mixture was less powerful than the combination with the Trichoderma CWDEs. The positive interaction between LDPs and CWDEs may be part of the biocontrol mechanism in some Pseudomonas strains, and co-induction of different antifungal compounds in both biocontrol bacteria and fungi may occur.