This study was carried out to assess the compatibility of the biocontrol fungus Clonostachys rosea IK726 with the phenazine-producing Pseudomonas chlororaphis ToZa7 or with the prodigiosin-producing Serratia rubidaea S55 against Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. radicis-lycopersici. The pathogen was inhibited by both strains in vitro, whereas C. rosea displayed high tolerance to S. rubidaea but not to P. chlororaphis. We hypothesized that this could be attributed to the ATP-binding cassette (ABC) proteins. The results of the reverse transcription quantitative PCR showed an induction of seven genes (abcB1, abcB20, abcB26, abcC12, abcC12, abcG8 and abcG25) from subfamilies B, C and G. In planta experiments showed a significant reduction in foot and root rot on tomato plants inoculated with C. rosea and P. chlororaphis. This study demonstrates the potential for combining different biocontrol agents and suggests an involvement of ABC transporters in secondary metabolite tolerance in C. rosea.
Keywords: ABC transporter; Biocontrol; Clonostachys rosea; Prodigiosin; Pseudomonas chlororaphis; Serratia rubidaea.