Rapid methods to select facultative pathogens on invader Cenchrus setaceus

  1. Sopena, Jorge 1
  2. Sierra Cornejo, Natalia 1
  3. Cosoveanu, Andreea 1
  4. Rodriguez, Carmen G. 1
  5. Cabrera, Raimundo 1
  1. 1 Universidad de La Laguna

    Universidad de La Laguna

    San Cristobal de La Laguna, España

    ROR https://ror.org/01r9z8p25

Romanian Journal for Plant Protection

ISSN: 2248-129X

Any de publicació: 2021

Volum: 14

Pàgines: 127-140

Tipus: Article

DOI: 10.54574/RJPP.14.16 GOOGLE SCHOLAR lock_openAccés obert editor

Altres publicacions en: Romanian Journal for Plant Protection

Objetivos de desarrollo sostenible


Fountain grass, Cenchrus setaceus (Forssk.) Chiov. (syn. Pennisetum setaceum) is an invasive plantwith high impact on insular environments such as the Canary Islands. Although there are no mentions on C.setaceus phytopathogens, plant communities with symptoms of withering, yellowing and decay have been foundin Canary Islands. Our project aims to find autochthonous potential biological control agents for C. setaceus.Herein, we present a workflow in which we tested fast and cost-effective methods to screen a high number offungal strains, aiming features like fast colonizers as well as competitive saprophytes and facultative pathogenswith ability to cause infection. Affected plants were collected from the islands of Gran Canaria, Tenerife, LaGomera, La Palma and Lanzarote and 243 fungal strains belonging to 38 genera were isolated. First screening wasperformed on adult plants with pooled multiple species strains – spores suspensions of 10 random strains per pool,each strain representing a genus or a morphotype (n = 83). No symptoms of disease were observed. Most isolatedgenera in this study were Alternaria and Fusarium, known as cosmopolite phytopathogens. Next screeningmethods were focused accordingly. Two in vitro single-strain screening methods were employed by usingmycelium-inoculated sectioned and entire leaves, to observe the ability of tissue colonization. First screening onsectioned leaves was performed with high amount of inoculum, to increase the chances of colonization and todetermine the ability of fungi to use the plant material as substrate. The method was not effective in significantlyreducing the number of candidates as most strains had abundant growth. To detect differences in fungal strainsacting as facultative pathogens or phytopathogens, the 2nd single-strain screening was performed onphysiologically-stressed (pelargonic acid, a desiccant molecule to induce turgor loss) and not pre-treated leavesusing less inoculum. Six strains were selected and subsequently evaluated in the last in vivo screening in thepresence and absence of the desiccant. Finally, we detected strain 967 Fusarium clavum as able to colonize andreproduce at the crown of the young plants. In view of our experimental process, we propose a workflow for thecost-effective search for potential BCAs in similar situations.

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