Disruption of Firmicutes and Actinobacteria abundance in tomato rhizosphere causes the incidence of bacterial wilt disease
Authors and Affiliations
Enrichment of protective microbiota in the rhizosphere facilitates disease suppression. However, how the disruption of protective rhizobacteria affects disease suppression is largely unknown. Here, we analyzed the rhizosphere microbial community of a healthy and diseased tomato plant grown <30-cm apart in a greenhouse at three different locations in South Korea. The abundance of Gram-positive Actinobacteria and Firmicutes phyla was lower in diseased rhizosphere soil (DRS) than in healthy rhizosphere soil (HRS) without changes in the causative Ralstonia solanacearum population. Artificial disruption of Gram-positive bacteria in HRS using 500-μg/mL vancomycin increased bacterial wilt occurrence in tomato. To identify HRS-specific and plant-protective Gram-positive bacteria species, Brevibacterium frigoritolerans HRS1, Bacillus niacini HRS2, Solibacillus silvestris HRS3, and Bacillus luciferensis HRS4 were selected from among 326 heat-stable culturable bacteria isolates. These four strains did not directly antagonize R. solanacearum but activated plant immunity. A synthetic community comprising these four strains displayed greater immune activation against R. solanacearum and extended plant protection by 4 more days in comparison with each individual strain. Overall, our results demonstrate for the first time that dysbiosis of the protective Gram-positive bacterial community in DRS promotes the incidence of disease.