Induced resistance to foliar diseases by soil solarization and Trichoderma harzianum

N. Okon Levy, Y. Meller Harel, Z. M. Haile, Y. Elad*, E. Rav-David, E. Jurkevitch, J. Katan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


The effect of soil solarization and Trichoderma harzianum on induced resistance to grey mould (Botrytis cinerea) and powdery mildew (Podosphaera xanthii) was studied. Plants were grown in soils pretreated by solarization, T. harzianum T39 amendment or both, and then their leaves were inoculated with the pathogens. There was a significant reduction in grey mould in cucumber, strawberry, bean and tomato, and of powdery mildew in cucumber, with a stronger reduction when treatments were combined. Bacillus, pseudomonad and actinobacterial communities in the strawberry rhizosphere were affected by the treatments, as revealed by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis fingerprinting. In tomato, treatments affected the expression of salicylic acid (SA)-, ethylene (ET)- and jasmonic acid (JA)-responsive genes. With both soil treatments, genes related to SA and ET - PR1a, GluB, CHI9 and Erf1 - were downregulated whereas the JA marker PI2 was upregulated. Following soil treatments and B. cinerea infection, SA-, ET-, and JA-related genes were globally upregulated, except for the LOX genes which were downregulated. Upregulation of the PR genes PR1a, GluB and CHI9 in plants grown in solarized soil revealed a priming effect of this treatment on these genes' expression. The present study demonstrates the capacity of solarization and T. harzianum to systemically induce resistance to foliar diseases in various plants. This may be due to either a direct effect on the plant or an indirect one, via stimulation of beneficial microorganisms in the rhizosphere.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)365-374
Number of pages10
JournalPlant Pathology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 British Society for Plant Pathology.


  • Biocontrol
  • Botrytis cinerea
  • Induced resistance
  • Powdery mildew
  • Soil solarization
  • Trichoderma harzianum


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