A picture called “Fungal competition” authored by Rachel Serrano, researcher at Fundación MEDINA, has won the modality of sustainable agriculture of the Fotciencia”15 contest.

The picture shows the result of the confrontation between an endophytic fungus, living inside plant tissues and a phytopathogen using a co-culture technique. It allows the in vitro simulation of microorganism’s interactions that may happen in their natural environment. The endophytic species Dothiora sp.  (black fungi) faced the phytopathogen strain Hypoxylon mediterraneum (white fungi) for 14th days in a Petri plate and an agar environment at 22ºC. Both microorganisms might be detecting each other’s presence through the diffusion of environmental signals, generating an antagonistic reaction that inhibits the phytopathogen growth.  We can observe how the H. mediterraneum´s hyphas are restrained and cannot invade its opponent. New studies have recently demonstrated the relevancy of this technique for the induction of new secondary metabolites. Find more information here.