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Quantification of Mycelium of Botrytis spp. and the Antagonist Ulocladium atrum in Necrotic Leaf Tissue of Cyclamen and Lily by Fluorescence Microscopy and Image Analysis

October 1999 , Volume 89 , Number  10
Pages  868 - 876

G. J. T. Kessel , B. H. de Haas , C. H. Lombaers-van der Plas , E. M. J. Meijer , F. M. Dewey , J. Goudriaan , W. van der Werf , and J. Köhl

First, second, third, fourth, and eighth authors: DLO Research Institute for Plant Protection (IPO-DLO), P.O. Box 9060, 6700 GW Wageningen, the Netherlands; fifth author: Department of Plant Sciences, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3RB, United Kingdom; and first, sixth, and seventh authors: Laboratory for Theoretical Production Ecology (TPE-WAU), P.O. Box 430, Wageningen Agricultural University, 6700 AK Wageningen, the Netherlands

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Accepted for publication 1 July 1999.

A technique was developed to localize and quantify the internal mycelial colonization of necrotic leaf tissue of cyclamen (Cyclamen persicum) or lily (Lilium) by pathogenic Botrytis spp. and the antagonist Ulocladium atrum. This technique allows investigation of competitive substrate colonization by both fungi, which is a key process for biological control of Botrytis spp. by U. atrum. A combination of differential fluorescent labeling and image analysis was applied on cryostat sections of necrotic leaf tissue. Botrytis mycelium was labeled specifically by indirect immunofluorescence using a monoclonal antibody specific for Botrytis spp. And an antimouse fluorescein conjugate. Wheat germ agglutinin conjugated to the fluorochrome TRITC was used to label mycelium of both fungi. Image analysis was used to measure the relative surface area of the cryostat section covered by fluorescing hyphae of Botrytis spp. and by fluorescing hyphae of both fungi. A mathematical conversion was derived and used to calculate the relative mycelial volume of each fungal species in the necrotic tissue based on the measured relative surface areas. Temporal aspects of substrate colonization were studied in a short time series. An analysis of components of variance provided insight into spatial colonization patterns for the fungal species involved and allowed the design of efficient sampling strategies for future experiments.

Additional keywords: Botrytis cinerea, B. elliptica, interfungal competition, microbial ecology, sampling strategy.

© 1999 The American Phytopathological Society