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The potential of five Western Australian native Acacia species for biological control of Phytophthora cinnamomi

D'Souza, N.K., Colquhoun, I.J., Shearer, B.L. and Hardy, G.E.St.J. (2004) The potential of five Western Australian native Acacia species for biological control of Phytophthora cinnamomi. Australian Journal of Botany, 52 (2). pp. 267-279.

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Five Acacia species native to Western Australia were assessed for their potential to protect the highly susceptible species Banksia grandis Wield from infection by the plant pathogen Phytophthora cinnamomi Rands. In a rehabilitated bauxite pit at Jarrahdale 55 km south-east of Perth and in a glasshouse trial, B. grandis planted either alone or with A. pulchella R.Br., A. urophylla Benth., A. extensa Lindl., A. lateriticola Maslin or A. drummondii Lindl., was soil inoculated with P. cinnamomi. It could only be shown that A. pulchella significantly protected B. grandis from P. cinnamomi infection in the rehabilitated bauxite pit trial up to 1 year after inoculation. This confirms the potential of this species for biological control of the pathogen in infested plant communities. The observed protection was not the result of a decrease in soil temperature or moisture. Protection was not emulated in a glasshouse trial where optimum environmental conditions favoured P. cinnamomi. Despite a delay in infection of B. grandis planted with Acacia spp., none of the five species definitively protected B. grandis from P. cinnamomi. However, in the glasshouse trial, A. pulchella, A. extensa, A. lateriticola and A. drummondii did significantly reduce the soil inoculum of P. cinnamomi, indicating a possible biological control effect on the pathogen. The mechanisms of biological control are discussed and the implications for management of rehabilitated bauxite mined areas and forests severely affected by P. cinnamomi are considered.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Centre for Phytophthora Science and Management
School of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Copyright: (c) CSIRO
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