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The ascomycete Verticillium dahliae causes worldwide vascular wilt of many field and horticultural plants. The melanized resting structures of this fungus, so-called microsclerotia, survive for many years in soils and continuously re-infect plants. Due to the absence of known fungicides, Verticillium wilt causes immense crop losses. We discovered that the Gram-positive, spore-forming soil bacterium Streptomyces lividans expresses members of the prodiginine family during co-cultivation with V. dahliae. Using HPLC and LC-MS analysis of cultures containing S. lividans alone or grown together with V. dahliae, we found that undecylprodigiosin [394.4 M+H](+) is highly abundant, and streptorubin B [392.4 M+H](+) is present in smaller amounts. Within co-cultures, the quantity of undecylprodigiosin increased considerably and pigment concentrated at and within fungal hyphae. The addition of purified undecylprodigiosin to growing V. dahliae hyphae strongly reduced microsclerotia formation. Undecylprodigiosin was also produced when S. lividans grew on the roots of developing Arabidopsis thaliana plants. Furthermore, the presence of the undecylprodigiosin producer led to an efficient reduction of V. dahliae hyphae and microsclerotia on plant-roots. Based on these novel findings and previous knowledge, we deduce that the prodiginine investigated leads to multiple cellular effects, which ultimately impair specific pathways for signal transduction and apoptosis of the fungal plant pathogen. © 2011 Society for Applied Microbiology and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


Holger Meschke, Stefan Walter, Hildgund Schrempf. Characterization and localization of prodiginines from Streptomyces lividans suppressing Verticillium dahliae in the absence or presence of Arabidopsis thaliana. Environmental microbiology. 2012 Apr;14(4):940-52

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PMID: 22151498

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