Alternaria alternata is one of the most devastating phytopathogenic fungi. This microorganism causes black spots in many fruits and vegetables worldwide, generating significant post-harvest losses. In this study, an A. alternata strain, isolated from infected pears (Pyrus communis) harvested in Italy, was characterized by focusing on its pathogenicity mechanisms and competitive exclusion in the presence of another pathogen, Botrytis cinerea. In in vitro assays, the fungus produces strong enzymatic activities such as amylase, xylanase, and cellulase, potentially involved during the infection. Moreover, it secretes four different toxins purified and identified as altertoxin I, alteichin, alternariol, and alternariol 4-methyl ether. Only alteichin generated necrotic lesions on host-variety pears, while all the compounds showed moderate to slight necrotic activity on non-host pears and other non-host fruit (lemon, Citrus limon), indicating they are non-host toxins. Interestingly, A. alternata has shown competitive exclusion to the competitor fungus Botrytis cinerea when co-inoculated in host and non-host pear fruits, inhibiting its growth by 70 and 65%, respectively, a result not observed in a preliminary characterization in a dual culture assay. Alteichin and alternariol 4-methyl ether tested against B. cinerea had the best inhibition activity, suggesting that the synergism of these toxins and enzymatic activities of A. alternata are probably involved in the competitive exclusion dynamics in host and non-host pear fruits.

Alternaria alternata Isolated from Infected Pears (Pyrus communis) in Italy Produces Non-Host Toxins and Hydrolytic Enzymes as Infection Mechanisms and Exhibits Competitive Exclusion against Botrytis cinerea in Co-Infected Host Fruits / Castaldi, Stefany; Zorrilla, Jesús G.; Petrillo, Claudia; Russo, MARIA TERESA; Ambrosino, Patrizia; Masi, Marco; Cimmino, Alessio; Isticato, Rachele. - In: JOURNAL OF FUNGI. - ISSN 2309-608X. - 9:3(2023), p. 326. [10.3390/jof9030326]

Alternaria alternata Isolated from Infected Pears (Pyrus communis) in Italy Produces Non-Host Toxins and Hydrolytic Enzymes as Infection Mechanisms and Exhibits Competitive Exclusion against Botrytis cinerea in Co-Infected Host Fruits

Stefany Castaldi
Primo
Investigation
;
Maria Teresa Russo;Marco Masi
Conceptualization
;
Alessio Cimmino
Conceptualization
;
Rachele Isticato
Ultimo
Supervision
2023

Abstract

Alternaria alternata is one of the most devastating phytopathogenic fungi. This microorganism causes black spots in many fruits and vegetables worldwide, generating significant post-harvest losses. In this study, an A. alternata strain, isolated from infected pears (Pyrus communis) harvested in Italy, was characterized by focusing on its pathogenicity mechanisms and competitive exclusion in the presence of another pathogen, Botrytis cinerea. In in vitro assays, the fungus produces strong enzymatic activities such as amylase, xylanase, and cellulase, potentially involved during the infection. Moreover, it secretes four different toxins purified and identified as altertoxin I, alteichin, alternariol, and alternariol 4-methyl ether. Only alteichin generated necrotic lesions on host-variety pears, while all the compounds showed moderate to slight necrotic activity on non-host pears and other non-host fruit (lemon, Citrus limon), indicating they are non-host toxins. Interestingly, A. alternata has shown competitive exclusion to the competitor fungus Botrytis cinerea when co-inoculated in host and non-host pear fruits, inhibiting its growth by 70 and 65%, respectively, a result not observed in a preliminary characterization in a dual culture assay. Alteichin and alternariol 4-methyl ether tested against B. cinerea had the best inhibition activity, suggesting that the synergism of these toxins and enzymatic activities of A. alternata are probably involved in the competitive exclusion dynamics in host and non-host pear fruits.
2023
Alternaria alternata Isolated from Infected Pears (Pyrus communis) in Italy Produces Non-Host Toxins and Hydrolytic Enzymes as Infection Mechanisms and Exhibits Competitive Exclusion against Botrytis cinerea in Co-Infected Host Fruits / Castaldi, Stefany; Zorrilla, Jesús G.; Petrillo, Claudia; Russo, MARIA TERESA; Ambrosino, Patrizia; Masi, Marco; Cimmino, Alessio; Isticato, Rachele. - In: JOURNAL OF FUNGI. - ISSN 2309-608X. - 9:3(2023), p. 326. [10.3390/jof9030326]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11588/914044
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