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Development of Colletotrichum gloeosporioides Restriction Enzyme-Mediated Integration Mutants as Biocontrol Agents Against Anthracnose Disease in Avocado Fruits

February 2001 , Volume 91 , Number  2
Pages  143 - 148

N. Yakoby , R. Zhou , I. Kobiler , A. Dinoor , and D. Prusky

First, second, third, and fifth authors: Department of Postharvest Science of Fresh Produce, Agricultural Research Organization, The Volcani Center, Bet Dagan 50250; and first and fourth authors: Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Faculty of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Quality Sciences, Rehovot 76100 Israel

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Accepted for publication 30 October 2000.

Reduced-pathogenicity mutants of the avocado fruit pathogen Colletotrichum gloeosporioides isolate Cg-14 (teleomorph: Glomerella cingulata) were generated by insertional mutagenesis by restriction enzyme-mediated integration (REMI) transformation. Following seven transformations, 3,500 hygromycin-resistant isolates were subjected to a virulence assay by inoculation on mesocarp and pericarp of cv. Fuerte avocado fruits. Fourteen isolates showed a reduced degree of virulence relative compared with wild-type Cg-14. Two isolates, Cg-M-142 and Cg-M-1150, were further characterized. Cg-M-142 produced appressoria on avocado pericarp similar to Cg-14, but caused reduced symptom development on the fruit's pericarp and mesocarp. Isolate Cg-M-1150 did not produce appressoria; it caused much reduced maceration on the mesocarp and no symptoms on the pericarp. Southern blot analysis of Cg-M-142 and Cg-M-1150 showed REMI at different XbaI sites of the fungal genome. Pre-inoculation of avocado fruit with Cg-M-142 delayed symptom development by the wild-type isolate. Induced resistance was accompanied by an increase in the levels of preformed antifungal diene, from 760 to 1,200 μg/g fresh weight 9 days after inoculation, whereas pre-inoculation with Cg-M-1150 did not affect the level of antifungal diene, nor did it delay the appearance of decay symptoms. The results presented here show that reduced-pathogenicity isolates can be used for the biological control of anthracnose caused by C. gloeosporioides attack.

Additional keywords: pathogen-fruit interaction , pathogenicity factors , postharvest decay.

© 2001 The American Phytopathological Society