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Isolation and Characterization of a Cold-Tolerant Strain of Fusarium proliferatum, a Biocontrol Agent of Grape Downy Mildew

November 2001 , Volume 91 , Number  11
Pages  1,062 - 1,068

Shlomo Bakshi , Abraham Sztejnberg , and Oded Yarden

First, second, and third authors: Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology, Faculty of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Quality Sciences, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Rehovot 76100, Israel; and third author: The Otto Warburg Center for Agricultural Biotechnology, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Rehovot 76100, Israel

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Accepted 17 July 2001.

A cold-tolerant strain of the mycoparasite Fusarium proliferatum was isolated following UV mutagenesis of the G6 strain, which is a biocontrol agent of grape downy mildew. The isolated strain (designated 1505) exhibited radial growth two to threefold that of the parent strain when grown at 13°C, which is generally suboptimal for growth of Fusarium spp., but desirable for its host, Plasmopara viticola. This rapid growth was correlated with improved biological control of P. viticola, determined by a detached-leaf assay. Even though radial growth of strain 1505 at higher temperatures was slower than that of G6 and the strain failed to conidiate, there was no reduction in biocontrol efficacy. Significantly higher levels of extracellular β-glucosidase and endo-1,4-β-glucanase activity were measured in the culture filtrate of strain 1505 relative to that of strain G6. A DNA-mediated transformation procedure that included the introduction of antibiotic resistance and a GUS reporter gene system was adapted for F. proliferatum. Using the GUS-engineered strains, we demonstrated that both G6 and 1505 exhibit the characteristic coiling and penetration of host structures.

Additional keyword: cellulase .

© 2001 The American Phytopathological Society