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Variability of Western Australian isolates of Sclerotinia sclerotiorum and the potential of Local Biological Control Agents

Hidayah, B.N., Dell, B. and Khangura, R. (2014) Variability of Western Australian isolates of Sclerotinia sclerotiorum and the potential of Local Biological Control Agents. In: Ware, A.H. and Potter, T.D. 2014. 18th Australian Research Assembly on Brassicas (ARAB 18). Proceedings, 29 September - 2 October, Tanunda, South Australia pp. 49-54.

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Stem rot disease caused by Sclerotinia sclerotiorum has emerged as a serious problem for canola (Brassica napus L.) production in Western Australia (WA) over the past few years where crop losses can be up to 40% in the worst affected crops. The biological characteristics and pathogenicity of the pathogen in WA is poorly understood. Also the potential for local biological control agents (BCAs) to be used in the management of the disease has not been explored. This paper provides preliminary data in these fields. One hundred and forty isolates of S. sclerotiorum were collected from WA canola growing regions for identification of biological characteristics which include colour of mycelia, growth rate, production of sclerotia, and pathogenicity. Other fungal isolates with potential biological control activity were collected from southern regions of WA. Colour of mycelia of Sclerotinia isolates varied from white, yellowish white, greyish white, brownish white, grey, dark grey to brown. Each isolate had its 24 and 48 hour growth rate recorded after sub-culture on PDA + ampicillin medium. ANOVA showed highly significant differences between growth rates of isolates 24 and 48 hours after being sub-cultured (P≤0.001). There were significant differences in number of sclerotia produced by each isolate. Two potential fungal biological control agents were found in WA, namely isolate KEN1 and isolate MTB1. These local fungal BCAs were found to be effective in inhibiting in vitro both the growth and ability to produce sclerotia of S. sclerotiorum.

Item Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
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