Alternative Control of Colletotrichum Acutatum, Causal Agent of Postbloom Fruit Drop of Citrus
Kupper, K.C.; Bellotte, J.A.M.; de Goes, A.
Revista Brasileira de Fruticultura 31(4): 1004-1015
ISSN/ISBN: 0100-2945 DOI: 10.1590/s0100-29452009000400013
Postbloom Fruit Drop of Citrus (PDF), caused by Colletotrichum acutatum, has caused losses to citrus producers and therefore it is economically very important. This disease is generally controlled by fungicide sprayings, which increase the production cost, and affects the environment. Thus, this work aimed at developing an alternative control method through the use of biocontrol agents, or biofertilizers. Different concentrations of biofertilizers (from two distinct sources and named Bio1 and Bio2), three strains of Bacillus subitlis (BCA-69, 72 and 77) and three isolates of Trichoderma spp. (BCA-14, 37 and 39) were tested, in vitro, alone or in combination, for the inhibitory capacity of conidia germination of C. acutatum. It was studied the production of thermo-stable metabolites by B. subtilis and their effect on the germination of C. acutatum conidia. Under in vivo conditions, 15 isolates of B. subtilis were tested for the ability to prevent C. acutatum infection on 'Tahiti' lime detached flowers and in the field, where two experiments were installed, for testing the BCA and biofertilizers; in the control of the disease. It was found that the isolate BCA-72 (B. subtilis) and BCA-37 (T. pseudokoningii) were the most efficient in inhibiting conidia germination. BCA-69 and BCA-77 were the most effective in producing anti-fungal substances, and in quantities sufficient to inhibit the germination of C acutatum. The mixture of four strains of Bacillus (BCA: 69, 72, 77 and AP3) presented the highest percentage of inhibition (73%). Regarding the use of biofertilizers (Bio1 and Bio2), it was observed that concentrations above 10% of the product, when combined with the strains of Trichoderma spp. decreased the pathogen germination. The experiments with detached flowers showed that the flowers where the BCA: 69, 76, 74 and 77 were applied presented 83, 92, 92 and 97% respectively, of the petals without symptoms of infection by C. acutatum. Field tests showed the potential of B. subtilis and biofertilizers, in controlling the disease.