Plant-mediated effects of commercial beneficial microbes against herbivorous mites


Abstract: Unable to run away from their enemies, plants often interact simultaneously withboth arthropods and microorganisms. Besides plant-feeding arthropods and pathogenicmicroorganisms, plant interactors also include beneficial organisms such as predators andmicrobes that can act as biocontrol agents against pests. Beneficial soil microbes in particularare known to elicit plant responses and therefore, might be capable of protecting plants againstherbivores. However, our current knowledge on their effects against certain pests such asherbivorous mites remains largely unknown. The aim of the present study was to assess theplant-mediated effects of commercial microbes on two key pests of tomato, the two-spottedspider mite Tetranychus urticae and the tomato russet mite, Aculops lycopersici. We found thatmite performance and respective feeding damage was negatively affected on microbeinoculatedplants as compared to uncolonized control plants. Our results will help inunderstanding tomato-mite-microbe interactions and also developing biocontrol strategies forsustainable crop production.

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