Rhizosphere microbiota structure alters to enable wilt resistance in tomato (Nature Biotech. – $)

Plants are frequently attacked by pathogens, but the pathogen-resistance is often attributed to the host. While interactions between the plant and its microbiota are recognized for their role in plant growth, their role in pathogen resistance is unknown. Kwak et al. studied the effect of soil-borne pathogen Ralstonia solanacearum causing bacterial wilt disease in tolerant and susceptible tomato varieties, Hawaii 7996 and Moneymaker respectively. The metagenomics analyses revealed that Flavobacteriacea species were dominant in the Hawai 7995 rhizosphere microbiome and identified TRG1-10 strain to reduce wilting due to Ralstonia infection in Moneymaker. This study shows that disease-resistant tomatoes may recruit bacterial allies to protect themselves from soil-borne pathogens and that disease resistance relies on the holobiome of the hosts and its microbial allies.  (Summary by Magdalena Julkowska) Nature Biotech. 10.1038/nbt.4232