[en] Multiple strains of Bacillus spp. were demonstrated to stimulate plant defence responses. However, very little is known about the nature of molecular determinants secreted by these Gram-positive bacteria that are responsible for the elicitation of the induced systemic resistance (ISR) phenomenon. This study shows that the lipopeptides surfactins and fengycins may be involved in this elicitation process. In bean, pure fengycins and surfactins provided a significant ISR-mediated protective effect on bean plants, similar to the one induced by living cells of the producing strain S499. Moreover, experiments conducted on bean and tomato plants showed that overexpression of both surfactin and fengycin biosynthetic genes in the naturally poor producer Bacillus subtilis strain 168 was associated with a significant increase in the potential of the derivatives to induce resistance. In tomato cells, key enzymes of the lipoxygenase pathway appeared to be activated in resistant plants following induction by lipopeptide overproducers. To our knowledge, such lipopeptides constitute a novel class of compounds from non-pathogenic bacteria that can be perceived by plant cells as signals to initiate defence mechanisms.
Centre Wallon de Biologie industrielle
Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique (Communauté française de Belgique) - F.R.S.-FNRS