J. C. B.
First author: Wye Research and Education Center, University of Maryland, Queenstown 21658; second author: Almirante Cacau, Itabuna, Bahia, Brazil; third author: Mars Inc., Elizabethtown, PA; first, third, fourth, and seventh authors: Alternate Crops and Systems Laboratory; fifth author: CEPLAC, Itabuna, Bahia, Brazil; and sixth author: Systematic Botany and Mycology Laboratory, USDA-ARS, BARC-West, Beltsville, MD 20705
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Accepted for publication 5 June 2002.
Growth characteristics of the fungus Trichoderma stromaticum, a mycoparasite on the mycelium and fruiting bodies of Crinipellis perniciosa, the causal agent of witches'-broom disease of cacao, were evaluated under controlled environmental conditions. The ability of T. stromaticum to produce conidia and germinate on dry brooms was evaluated at three constant temperatures (20, 25, and 30°C) and two constant relative humidities (75 and 100%). T. stromaticum produced abundant conidia on brooms at 100% relative humidity and incubation temperatures of 20 and 25°C, but none at 30°C. Sporulation of T. stromaticum was not observed at 75% relative humidity at any temperature. At 100% relative humidity and either at 20 or 25°C, treatment of brooms with T. stromaticum suppressed C. perniciosa within 7 days. In contrast, at 30°C, treatment with T. stromaticum had no effect on the pathogen in brooms maintained at either 75 or 100% relative humidity. Mycelium of C. perniciosa grew from brooms at all temperatures at 100% relative humidity. Conidial germination on broom tissue approximated 80% at temperatures from 20 to 30°C. Results suggest that applying T. stromaticum under high-moisture conditions when the air temperature is below 30°C may enhance the establishment of this mycoparasite in cacao plantations.
© 2002 The American Phytopathological Society