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Synergistic Interactions of Schizostatin Identified from Schizophyllum commune with Demethylation Inhibitor Fungicides

  • Park, Min Young (Department of Biosystems and Biotechnology, Korea University Graduate School) ;
  • Jeon, Byeong Jun (Department of Biosystems and Biotechnology, Korea University Graduate School) ;
  • Kang, Ji Eun (Department of Biosystems and Biotechnology, Korea University Graduate School) ;
  • Kim, Beom Seok (Department of Biosystems and Biotechnology, Korea University Graduate School)
  • Received : 2020.07.29
  • Accepted : 2020.09.28
  • Published : 2020.12.01

Abstract

Botrytis cinerea, which causes gray mold disease in more than 200 plant species, is an economically important pathogen that is mainly controlled by synthetic fungicides. Synergistic fungicide mixtures can help reduce fungicide residues in the environment and mitigate the development of fungicide-resistant strains. In this study, we screened microbial culture extracts on Botrytis cinerea to identify an antifungal synergist for tebuconazole. Among the 4,006 microbial extracts screened in this study, the culture extract from Schizophyllum commune displayed the most enhanced activity with a sub-lethal dosage of tebuconazole, and the active ingredient was identified as schizostatin. In combination with 5 ㎍/ml tebuconazole, schizostatin (1 ㎍/ml) showed disease control efficacy against gray mold on tomato leaf similar to that achieved with 20 ㎍/ml tebuconazole treatment alone. Interestingly, schizostatin showed demethylation inhibitor (DMI)-specific synergistic interactions in the crossed-paper strip assay using commercial fungicides. In a checkerboard assay with schizostatin and DMIs, the fractional inhibitory concentration values were 0.0938-0.375. To assess the molecular mechanisms underlying this synergism, the transcription levels of the ergosterol biosynthetic genes were observed in response to DMIs, schizostatin, and their mixtures. Treatment with DMIs increased the erg11 (the target gene of DMI fungicides) expression level 15.4-56.6-fold. However, treatment with a mixture of schizostatin and DMIs evidently reverted erg11 transcription levels to the pre-DMI treatment levels. These results show the potential of schizostatin as a natural antifungal synergist that can reduce the dose of DMIs applied in the field without compromising the disease control efficacy of the fungicides.