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Variability of Three Isolates of Botrytis cinerea Affects the Inhibitory Effects of Calcium on this Fungus

July 2000 , Volume 90 , Number  7
Pages  769 - 774

Catherine O. Chardonnet , Carl E. Sams , Robert N. Trigiano , and William S. Conway

First and second authors: Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville 37901; third author: Department of Ornamental Horticulture & Landscape Design, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville 37901; fourth author: Horticultural Crops Quality Laboratory, Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Beltsville, MD 20705

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Accepted for publication 31 March 2000.

Botrytis cinerea is an economically important pathogen. Epidemiological studies are difficult because of the genetic variability within this species. The objectives of this work were to study the variability and to compare the inhibitory effects of Ca on three isolates of B. cinerea from decayed apple (B) and grape (C and C77:4). Among these isolates, B had the least radial growth but had a sporulation rate 40% higher than that of both C77:4 and C. In situ, isolate C incited the largest decay area in the fruit of two of four apple cultivars examined and had the highest polygalacturonase activity in vitro. Maximum mycelial growth was reached with CaCl2 at 1 g liter-1 for isolates B and C77:4 and at 4 g liter-1 for isolate C. Calcium (CaCl2) inhibited polygalacturonase activity at 1 g liter-1 for C and C77:4 and at 16 g liter-1 for B. Calcium infiltration reduced decay caused by all three isolates by three to five times. Mycelial DNA analysis showed that 42% of the character loci scored were polymorphic and the greatest similarities were found between B and C77:4. These results support the evidence that the biological and statistical variability in research can be affected by the B. cinerea isolate selected. Despite this variation, Ca treatment of apples reduced decay caused by all three Botrytis cinerea isolates.

Additional keyword: gray mold.

The American Phytopathological Society, 2000