Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology, Faculty of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Quality Sciences, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Rehovot 76100, and Department of Plant Pathology, ARO, The Volcani Center, Bet Dagan 50250, Israel
Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology, Faculty of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Quality Sciences, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Department of Plant Pathology, ARO, The Volcani Center
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Accepted for publication 31 March 2004.
Generation and screening for nonpathogenic mutants is a popular tool for identifying pathogenicity-related genes. Successful application of this technique for plant fungal pathosystems requires reliable and rapid screening procedures. This study reports on the development of a rapid in vitro bioassay enabling large-scale screening and isolation of nonpathogenic mutants of Colletotrichum gloeosporioides and C. acutatum on strawberry seedlings. Inoculation was carried out on strawberry seedlings at two different developmental stages: 12-week-old (young) and 15-week-old (older) seedlings. A comparison was made between two inoculation techniques, (i) foliar dip and (ii) root soak, at two incubation temperatures (19 and 25°C). Mortality of young seedlings was observed 4 days after inoculation with both species, reaching 50% within 10 days, using both techniques at 25°C. However, mortality of older seedlings was delayed by 4 days compared with that in the young seedlings when using the root-soak method. Disease development decreased in young and older seedlings at the lower temperature. This method also was reliable in determining pathogenicity of the cucurbit-specific C. magna that did not cause disease symptoms on strawberry by either inoculation method. The proposed method enabled screening of more than 980 restriction enzyme-mediated integration mutants resulting in a selection of five reduced-virulence isolates. Initial characterization of some of these mutants revealed large differences in germination and appressorial formation compared with pathogenic isolates.
© 2004 The American Phytopathological Society