Tomato plants respond well to potassium fertilization, whose insufficiency leads to a drop in fruit production and quality. On the other hand, the association of growth-promoting fungi (GPF) with roots has been shown to be able to optimize nutrient absorption, which implies lower financial costs and a decreased risk of loss of K applied to the soil. The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of inoculation with GPF and K rates on the postharvest quality of grape tomato hybrid ‘Mascot’ grown in a hydroponic system. The plants were cultivated in a hydroponic drip system using washed and sterilized sand as substrate. They were trained with two stems, leaving three bunches per stem. The experiment was carried out in a splitsplit-plot arrangement in a completely randomized design with three replicates. Ripe fruits were stored for 30 days in PET containers in storage chambers at a temperature of 25 °C. After 0, 10, 20 and 30 days of storage, five fruits were collected to determine the titratable acidity (TA) and soluble solids (SS), reducing sugars (RS) and vitamin C contents. The K rates provided an increase in the quality attributes. At low K rates, inoculation with GPF led to higher TA, SS, RS and vitamin C values. Inoculation of the plants with GPF improved the postharvest preservation of the fruits, especially when the plants underwent nutritional stress during cultivation.
The interaction of plants with the complex microbial networks that inhabit them is important for plant health. While the reliance of plants on their microbial inhabitants for defense against invading pathogens is well documented, the acquisition of data concerning the relationships between plant developmental stage or aging, and microbiome assembly, is still underway. The plant hormone cytokinin (CK) regulates various plant growth and developmental processes. Here, examining the relationships between plant development and microbiome assembly, we observed developmental-age dependent changes in the phyllopshere microbiome. We show that age-related shifts in microbiome content vary based on content of, or sensitivity to, CK.
We found a developmental age associated decline in microbial richness and diversity, accompanied by a decline in the presence of growth promoting and resistance inducing Bacilli in the phyllosphere. This decline was absent from CK-rich or CK-hypersensitive genotypes. Bacillus isolates we obtained from CK rich genotypes were found to alter the expression of developmental genes to support morphogenesis and alter the leaf developmental program when applied to seedlings, and enhance yield and agricultural productivity when applied to mature plants.
Our results support the notion that CK supports developmental functions in part via the bacterial community.
Pyroligneous acid (PA) is often used in agriculture as a plant growth and yield enhancer. However, the influence of PA application on soil microorganisms is not often studied. Therefore, in this study, we investigated the effect of PA (0.01–5% w/w in soil) on the microbial diversity in two different soils. At the end of eight weeks of incubation, soil microbial community dynamics were determined by Illumina-MiSeq sequencing of 16S rRNA gene amplicons. The microbial composition differed between the lower (0.01% and 0.1%) and the higher (1% and 5%) concentration in both PA spiked soils. The lower concentration of PA resulted in higher microbial diversity and dehydrogenase activity (DHA) compared to the un-spiked control and the soil spiked with high PA concentrations. Interestingly, PA-induced plant growth-promoting bacterial (PGPB) genera include Bradyrhizobium, Azospirillum, Pseudomonas, Mesorhizobium, Rhizobium, Herbaspiriluum, Acetobacter, Beijerinckia, and Nitrosomonas at lower concentrations. Additionally, the PICRUSt functional analysis revealed the predominance of metabolism as the functional module’s primary component in both soils spiked with 0.01% and 0.1% PA. Overall, the results elucidated that PA application in soil at lower concentrations promoted soil DHA and microbial enrichment, particularly the PGPB genera, and thus have great implications for improving soil health.