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- Journal Article
Volatiles play major roles in mediating ecological interactions between soil (micro)organisms and plants. It is well-established that microbial volatiles can increase root biomass and lateral root formation. To date, however, it is unknown whether microbial volatiles can affect directional root growth. Here, we present a novel method to study belowground volatile-mediated interactions. As proof-of-concept, we designed a root Y-tube olfactometer, and tested the effects of volatiles from four different soil-borne fungi on directional growth ofBrassica raparoots in soil. Subsequently, we compared the fungal volatile organic compounds (VOCs) previously profiled with Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS). Using our newly designed setup, we show that directional root growth in soil is differentially affected by fungal volatiles. Roots grew more frequently toward volatiles from the root pathogenRhizoctonia solani, whereas volatiles from the other three saprophytic fungi did not impact directional root growth. GC-MS profiling showed that six VOCs were exclusively emitted byR. solani.These findings verify that this novel method is suitable to unravel the intriguing chemical cross-talk between roots and soil-borne fungi and its impact on root growth. Show more
Journal / seriesPlant, Cell & Environment
Subjectchemotaxis; fungal volatiles; Rhizoctonia solani; root attraction; root olfactometer; root pathogen
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