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The effect of treatment with Ulocladium atrum on Botrytis cinerea-attack of geranium (Pelargonium zonale) stock plants and cuttings

The effect of treatment with Ulocladium atrum on Botrytis cinerea-attack of geranium (Pelargonium zonale) stock plants and cuttings

European Journal of Plant Pathology 107(4): 377-386

In two successive seasons, the effect of treatment of geranium stock plants with the competitive saprophytic fungus Ulocladium atrum as a biocontrol agent again st Botrytis cinerea was compared to a fungicide treatment with Euparene M. B. ci nerea incidence and severity on the stock plants, B. cinerea spore load in the a ir around stock plants and death of cuttings due to B. cinerea were scored. B. c inerea incidence and severity were much stronger in the second than the first ex periment. This was quantitatively expressed by higher numbers of conidia of B. c inerea monitored in the second than the first year, both on necrotic (a maximum for the control of 27.5 x 10(6) spores per sample - all necrotic leaves of five plants - in experiment 1 against 86 x 10(6) in experiment 2) and green leaves, b ut numbers of conidia of B. cinerea recovered from the air were only slightly di fferent. The death rate of cuttings was moderate in the first and extremely high in the second experiment. For the fungicide treatment, maximum sample values of 7% and 76% of 6-week old cuttings were killed in the first and the second exper iment respectively. Treatment with U. atrum was effective in reducing all parame ters studied. With the exception of the spore load of B. cinerea in the air and the success of cuttings, the effect of U. atrum varied from as good as the fungi cide to half as effective. In the first trial, only Euparene M reduced spore loa d in the air, in the second trial only U. atrum consistently did so. In the firs t trial U. atrum reduced death of 4-week old cuttings, though less than fungicid e (1.2, 20 and 38% killed with fungicide treatment, U. atrum treatment and contr ol respectively). In the second trial only the fungicide reduced loss of cutting s. The impact of the data on the integration of U. atrum in a control system of B. cinerea in geranium is discussed.

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Accession: 003585343

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DOI: 10.1023/a:1011248318499

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