Comparisons between the in vitro and in vivo efficacies of potential fungal antagonists of Armillaria mellea
Raziq, F. and Fox, R.T.V. (2003) Comparisons between the in vitro and in vivo efficacies of potential fungal antagonists of Armillaria mellea. Biological Agriculture & Horticulture, 21 (3). pp. 263-276. ISSN 0144-8765
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Seventeen fungal isolates were tested in vitro as potential antagonists of two isolates of the root rot pathogen, Armillaria mellea. Some of the isolates were also added on mushroom composts with living mycelia to the roots of Armillaria-inoculated potted strawberry plants in the glasshouse to find out if they had the same degree of efficacy against the disease. Dactylium dendroides isolate SP was the most effective in reducing mycelial growth of A. mellea isolate 1 (Am1), followed by Trichoderma harzianum isolate Th2 and T. viride isolate Tv4. Th2, Th22, Tv3 and SP grew extensively over Am1 colonies, disintegrating the rhizomorphs. Isolate Tham1 of T hamatum was the most effective in reducing mycelial growth of A. mellea isolate 2 (Am2), followed by Tv3. Th12, Th22, Tv1, Tv3 and SP inhibited the initiation and growth of rhizomorphs of Am2. Regeneration tests showed that both Am1 and Am2 attacked by Trichoderma isolates and SP were no longer viable. Th23 and SP were almost as effective in vivo as in vitro. But isolate Co of Chaetomium olivaceum, which was ineffective in vitro, was found effective in vivo. Conversely, Th2, which exhibited good antagonistic activity in vitro, performed poorly in vivo. These results show that the in vitro and in vivo efficacies of potential antagonists may not necessarily be closely correlated. Hence, there is a danger that potentially effective isolates may be discarded if decisions are made only on the basis of preliminary screening tests carried out under laboratory conditions.