Controlling Radopholus similis, an important phytopathogenic nematode, is a challenge worldwide. Herein, we constructed a metagenomic fosmid library from the rhizosphere soil of banana plants, and six clones with protease activity were obtained by functionally screening the library. Furthermore, subclones were constructed using the six clones, and three protease genes with nematicidal activity were identified: pase1, pase4, and pase6. The pase4 gene was successfully cloned and expressed, demonstrating that the protease PASE4 could effectively degrade R. similis tissues and result in nematode death. Additionally, we isolated a predominant R. similis-associated bacterium, Pseudomonas fluorescens (pf36), from 10 R. similis populations with different hosts. The pase4 gene was successfully introduced into the pf36 strain by vector transformation and conjugative transposition, and two genetically modified strains were obtained: p4MCS-pf36 and p4Tn5-pf36. p4MCS-pf36 had significantly higher protease expression and nematicidal activity (p < 0.05) than p4Tn5-pf36 in a microtiter plate assay, whereas p4Tn5-pf36 was superior to p4MCS-pf36 in terms of genetic stability and controlling R. similis in growth pot tests. This study confirmed that R. similis is inhibited by the associated bacterium pf36-mediated expression of nematicidal proteases. Herein, a novel approach is provided for the study and development of efficient, environmentally friendly, and sustainable biocontrol techniques against phytonematodes.
Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 27, 2018
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