New publication: Trophic interactions between predatory protists and pathogen-suppressive bacteria impact plant health

Published on
April 25, 2022

Plant production is threatened by pests, among them soilborne pathogens. Many management practices aim to reduce the losses, often with negative side-effects (insect decline etc). Organic fertilizers can solve some of these issues but why organic amendments often are linked to reduced pest-pressure remains often insufficiently known.

Here we show that #protists are the main drivers of disease suppression against Fusarium disease in banana. We show that protists, particularly some specific species such as of the genus Cercomonas promote secondary metabolite producing biocontrol agents by feeding on their competitors. In fact, the biocontrol agents likely produce the toxins to fight the protists and as a – for us nice – side-effect fight off other organisms like pests. For further info check the full article here published in the ISME journal.