Australasian Plant Pathology

, Volume 43, Issue 4, pp 381–392 | Cite as

Potential for biological control of the weed Angled Onion (Allium triquetrum) by the fungus Stromatinia cepivora in Australia

Article

Abstract

The fungus Stromatinia cepivora (Berk.) Whetzel, which causes white rot of cultivated Allium species, was assessed as a biological control agent for Angled Onion (Allium triquetrum L.), a widespread noxious invasive environmental weed in southern Australia. A. triquetrum showed relatively little genetic diversity, suggesting it was a suitable target for biological control. Genetic analysis of plants from 23 sites in the three main infested Australian states by internal transcribed spacer (ITS) and randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) analysis suggested biotypes of A. triquetrum in Australia grouped by state, except for samples from Westernport Bay and Ararat (Victoria). Pathogenicity and virulence of two S. cepivora isolates were assessed on up to 13 A. triquetrum provenances, 6 cultivated Allium species and 9 Australian endemic monocotyledons in test-tube and pot trials. In test-tubes, sclerotia killed plants from all provenances. In pot trials with sclerotia and mycelium, the more pathogenic isolate killed plants from all but one provenance. No A. triquetrum provenance was resistant to S. cepivora, nor were common cultivated Allium species, but common Australian endemic monocotyledons from habitats infested with A. triquetrum showed no disease symptoms 90 days post-inoculation. S. cepivora thus has potential as a biological control agent for A. triquetrum in native bushland in Australia where the risk of it spreading to horticulturally important Allium species is low and can be controlled.

Keywords

Sclerotium cepivorum White rot Three-angled garlic Biocontrol Mycoherbicide Environmental weed 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors wish to thank Dr James Cunnington and Dr Oscar Villalta of the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Victoria for the strains of S. cepivora used in these trials, and Dr Janet Anthony and Dr Siegy Krauss, Kings Park and Botanic Garden, Western Australia, for providing A. triquetrum bulbs from there. The authors also wish to thank Ross Field and David Lane, DPI Frankston, for information from a small trial conducted there in the past.

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Copyright information

© Australasian Plant Pathology Society Inc. 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Applied SciencesRMIT UniversityBundooraAustralia
  2. 2.Department of Primary Industries, Frankston CentreFrankstonAustralia
  3. 3.Department of Crop, Soil and Environmental SciencesUniversity of ArkansasFayettevilleUSA
  4. 4.Australis Biological Pty LtdBitternAustralia

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