Factors influencing pathogenicity of Fusarium tumidum on gorse (Ulex europaeus)

Yamoah, E
Jones, Elizabeth
Bourdot, G
Suckling, D
Weld, R
Stewart, A
Journal Article
Fields of Research
ANZSRC::3001 Agricultural biotechnology , ANZSRC::4102 Ecological applications , ANZSRC::4104 Environmental management
Factors promoting pathogenicity of Fusarium tumidum on gorse (Ulex europaeus) were determined to develop a novel strategy for delivering this potential mycoherbicide using insects as vectors of inoculum. Fusarium tumidum sprayed as a suspension of 1×10⁶ conidia mL⁻¹on at least 50% of a gorse plant reduced shoot dry weight by 45% (P<0.05). A minimum of 910 viable conidia were required to cause a lesion on leaves. The leaves and flowers were more susceptible to infection than stems, spines and pods. Generally, wounding of gorse leaves and stem increased F. tumidum infection, most likely through releasing nutrients that enhanced conidial germination and hyphal growth. We showed in a separate experiment that conidial germination (93%) and germ tube length (407 µm) were greater when incubated in 0.2% gorse extract solution for 24 h than in water (62% germination, germ tube length 42 µm). Inoculation of gorse with a F. tumidum conidial suspension supplemented with 0.2% gorse extract resulted in a shoot dry weight reduction (P=0.012) equivalent to that of plants that were wounded and inoculated. It is concluded that wounding of older tissues (which mimics insect damage) is required to facilitate F. tumidum infection of mature gorse plants.
© 2008 Taylor & Francis
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