Trichoderma harzianum Peptaibols Stimulate Plant Plasma Membrane H+-ATPase Activity

Peter Klemmed Bjørk*, Nicolai Tidemand Johansen, Nanna Weise Havshøi, Silas Anselm Rasmussen, Johan Ørskov Ipsen, Thomas Isbrandt, Thomas Ostenfeld Larsen, Anja Thoe Fuglsang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Because of their ability to promote growth, act as biopesticides, and improve abiotic stress tolerance, Trichoderma spp. have been used for plant seed coating. However, the mechanism for the promotion of plant growth remains unknown. In this study, we investigate the effect of fungal extracts on the plant plasma membrane (PM) H+-ATPase, which is essential for plant growth and often a target of plant-associated microbes. We show that Trichoderma harzianum extract increases H+-ATPase activity, and by fractionation and high-resolution mass spectrometry (MS), we identify the activating components trichorzin PA (tPA) II and tPA VI that belong to the class of peptaibols. Peptaibols are nonribosomal peptides that can integrate into membranes and form indiscriminate ion channels, which causes pesticidal activity. To further investigate peptaibol-mediated H+-ATPase activation, we compare the effect of tPA II and VI to that of the model peptaibol alamethicin (AlaM). We show that AlaM increases H+-ATPase turnover rates in a concentration-dependent manner, with a peak in activity measured at 31.25 μM, above which activity decreases. Using fluorescent probes and light scattering, we find that the AlaM-mediated increase in activity is not correlated to increased membrane fluidity or vesicle integrity, whereas the activity decrease at high AlaM concentrations is likely due to PM overloading of AlaM pores. Overall, our results suggest that the symbiosis of fungi and plants, specifically related to peptaibols, is a concentration-dependent balance, where peptaibols do not act only as biocontrol agents but also as plant growth stimulants.
Original languageEnglish
JournalACS Omega
Issue number38
Pages (from-to)34928-34937
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2023


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