Communications in agricultural and applied biological sciences

Development of a selective medium for the determination of the spore concentrations of Botrytis cinerea in the air.

PMID 15151304


Gray mold, caused by Botrytis cinerea, is an important disease that causes world-wide extensive damage to a wide range of economically important crops. When it is necessary to determine the spore concentration of Botrytis cinerea in a certain area, it is important to develop a method that can capture the spores of Botrytis cinerea and that can identify them. For the identification and enumeration of the plant pathogen Botrytis cinerea in the environment the easiest method available for the moment is the use of a selective medium. Several selective media for the isolation of Botrytis spp. have been developed by other research groups. All these media contain fungicides that are usually non-toxic towards Botrytis species and tannic acid, which is oxidized to produce a brown pigment that visualises the growth of Botrytis cinerea on the selective media. It seemed that different isolates of Botrytis cinerea that are found in nature have different sensitivities towards the different fungicide concentrations that are used in the selective media. Making the "optimal" selective media for Botrytis cinerea, we have to take in consideration that so many as possible Botrytis cinerea isolates must be able to germinate and grow on this selective medium and that the contamination of other micro-organisms on the selective medium must be minimized. Before the final composition of our selective medium for Botrytis cinerea, different combinations of fungicide concentrations were tried out of the following three fungicides: Rubigan, maneb and PCNB (pentachloronitrobenzene). All these selective media with different fungicides concentrations were tested out for spore germination and mycelium growth of Botrytis cinerea. Because it was obvious that the percentage Botrytis cinerea that germinated on PDA (Potato Dextrose Agar) was higher than on the selective medium a few experiments were executed in which the percentage of spore germination on PDA was compared with the percentage of spore germination on selective media. From the results of these experiments a correction factor was calculated that will be used when spore concentrations have to be determined for air detections that are carried out in glasshouses.