The exploration of potato-associated bacteria in the Central Andean Highlands and their application in integrated crop management systems

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Velivelli, Siva L. S.
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University College Cork
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Potato is the most important food crop after wheat and rice. A changing climate, coupled with a heightened consumer awareness of how food is produced and legislative changes governing the usage of agrochemicals, means that alternative more integrated and sustainable approaches are needed for crop management practices. Bioprospecting in the Central Andean Highlands resulted in the isolation and in vitro screening of 600 bacterial isolates. The best performing isolates, under in vitro conditions, were field trialled in their home countries. Six of the isolates, Pseudomonas sp. R41805 (Bolivia), Pseudomonas palleroniana R43631 (Peru), Bacillus sp. R47065, R47131, Paenibacillus sp. B3a R49541, and Bacillus simplex M3-4 R49538 (Ecuador), showed significant increase in the yield of potato. Using – omic technologies (i.e. volatilomic, transcriptomic, proteomic and metabolomic), the influence of microbial isolates on plant defence responses was determined. Volatile organic compounds of bacterial isolates were identified using GC/MS. RT-qPCR analysis revealed the significant expression of Ethylene Response Factor 3 (ERF3) and the results of this study suggest that the dual inoculation of potato with Pseudomonas sp. R41805 and Rhizophagus irregularis MUCL 41833 may play a part in the activation of plant defence system via ERF3. The proteomic analysis by 2-DE study has shown that priming by Pseudomonas sp. R41805 can induce the expression of proteins related to photosynthesis and protein folding in in vitro potato plantlets. The metabolomics study has shown that the total glycoalkaloid (TGA) content of greenhouse-grown potato tubers following inoculation with Pseudomonas sp. R41805 did not exceed the acceptable safety limit (200 mg kg-1 FW). As a result of this study, a number of bacteria have been identified with commercial potential that may offer sustainable alternatives in both Andean and European agricultural settings.
Rhizoctonia solani , Phytophthora infestans , Potato , Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi , Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria , Volatile organic compounds , Gas chromatography/mass spectrometry , Ethylene response factor 3 , Sustainable agriculture , Biological control , Two-dimensional gel electrophoresis , Defence gene expression
Velivelli, S. L. S. 2014. The exploration of potato-associated bacteria in the Central Andean Highlands and their application in integrated crop management systems. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.
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