Efficiency of isolates ofConiothyrium minitans as mycoparasites ofSclerotinia sclerotiorum, Sclerotium cepivorum andBotrytis cinerea on tomato stem pieces
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Twenty five isolates ofConiothyrium minitans were screened for antagonism toSclerotinia sclerotiorum in a Petri dish bioassay using tomato stem segments placed on sterile sand. The antagonistic activity of 23 isolates was quite uniform and only two less antagonistic isolates were identified. Antagonism, expressed as a reduction in the rate of tissue colonization byS. sclerotiorum, occurred, whetherC. minitans was co-inoculated at the same time, one day before or one day afterS. sclerotiorum, but was slightly restricted whenS. sclerotiorum was given a lead of one day. On average, 50–80% of sclerotia of S.sclerotiorum formed on the stem pieces were infected byC. minitans two weeks after inoculation. Excluding the less antagonistic isolates,Coniothyrium minitans was recovered from over 80% ofS. sclerotiorum-infected stem segments when co-inoculated but from a maximum of only 7% of stem pieces when exposed toC. minitans alone. When the experiments were carried out on non-sterile soil instead of sterile sand, infection of stem pieces byS. sclerotiorum was reduced and recovery ofS. sclerotiorum andC. minitans from stem segments was decreased. SevenC. minitans isolates were also screened againstSclerotium cepivorum andBotrytis cinerea and, whereas the effect ofC. minitans onS. cepivorum-infected tissue and sclerotia was essentially similar to that observed withS. sclerotiorum, B. cinerea infected tissue and sclerotia were not invaded by the antagonist.
Key wordsantagonism biological control grey mould white mould white rot
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