Fusarium oxysporum volatiles enhance plant growth via affecting auxin transport and signaling

Vasileios Bitas, Nathaniel McCartney, Ningxiao Li, Jill Demers, Jung Eun Kim, Hye Seon Kim, Kathleen M. Brown, Seogchan Kang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) have well-documented roles in plant-plant communication and directing animal behavior. In this study, we examine the less understood roles of VOCs in plant-fungal relationships. Phylogenetically and ecologically diverse strains of Fusarium oxysporum, a fungal species complex that often resides in the rhizosphere of assorted plants, produce volatile compounds that augment shoot and root growth of Arabidopsis thaliana and tobacco. Growth responses of A. thaliana hormone signaling mutants and expression patterns of a GUS reporter gene under the auxin-responsive DR5 promoter supported the involvement of auxin signaling in F. oxysporum volatile-mediated growth enhancement. In addition, 1-naphthylthalamic acid, an inhibitor of auxin efflux, negated F. oxysporum volatile-mediated growth enhancement in both plants. Comparison of the profiles of volatile compounds produced by F. oxysporum strains that differentially affected plant growth suggests that the relative compositions of both growth inhibitory and stimulatory compounds may determine the degree of plant growth enhancement. Volatile-mediated signaling between fungi and plants may represent a potentially conserved, yet mostly overlooked, mechanism underpinning plant-fungus interactions and fungal niche adaption.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1248
JournalFrontiers in Microbiology
Issue numberNOV
StatePublished - 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)


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