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Effect of Microsphaeropsis sp. Strain P130A on Germination and Production of Sclerotia of Rhizoctonia solani and Interaction Between the Antagonist and the Pathogen

August 2001 , Volume 91 , Number  8
Pages  782 - 791

Odile Carisse , Souad El Bassam , and Nicole Benhamou

First and second authors: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Horticultural Research and Development Centre, 430 Gouin Blvd., St Jean-sur-Richelieu, Québec, Canada, J3B 3E6; and third author: Recherches en sciences de la vie et de la santé, Faculté des sciences de l'agriculture et de l'alimentation, Université Laval, Sainte-Foy, Québec, Canada, G1K 7P4

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Accepted for publication 10 May 2001.

Microsphaeropsis sp. strain P130A was evaluated for the control of tuber-borne inoculum of Rhizoctonia solani based on the viability of sclerotia produced in vitro and on both the viability and production of tuber-borne sclerotia. The interactions between the antagonist and the pathogen, as well as the effect of the toxins produced by the antagonist on mycelial growth of R. solani were studied using transmission electron microscopy. On sclerotia produced in vitro, for all incubation periods (1 to 42 days), Microsphaeropsis sp. significantly reduced germination. Percent germination of sclerotia treated with Microsphaeropsis sp. decreased with increasing incubation period from an average of 82.0% after 1 day to stabilize at an average of 5.8% after 35 days. Similarly, percent germination of tuber-borne sclerotia was significantly lower when tubers were treated with Microsphaeropsis sp. Both 2% formaldehyde and Microsphaeropsis sp. treatments significantly reduced sclerotia germination to approximately 10% after 42 days of incubation at 4°C. Furthermore, on tubers treated with the antagonist, the number of sclerotia per square centimeter decreased from 1.6 to 0.5 during the 8 months of storage at 4°C, whereas an increase from 1.2 to 7.8 sclerotia per square centimeter was observed on untreated tubers. Microsphaeropsis sp. (strain P130A) colonized hyphae of R. solani within 4 days after contact on culture media. Transmission electron microscopic observations showed that the antagonist induced a rupture of the pathogen plasma membrane and that a chitin-enriched matrix was deposited at sites of potential antagonist penetration. Host penetration was not associated with pathogen cell wall alterations, which occurred at the time of progress of the antagonist in the pathogen cytoplasm. In the presence of a crude extract of Microsphaeropsis sp., cells of R. solani showed cytoplasm disorganization and breakdown of plasma membranes. Antibiosis and mycoparasitism were involved in the antagonism of R. solani by Microsphaeropsis sp., but the sequence by which these events occur, as well as the significance of wall appositions produced by R. solani, is yet to be established.

Additional keywords: damping-off , potato diseases , stem canker , storage rot .

© 2001 The American Phytopathological Society