Efficacy of Chaetomium Species as Biological Control Agents against Phytophthora nicotianae Root Rot in Citrus.

PMID 26539045


Thailand is one of the largest citrus producers in Southeast Asia. Pathogenic infection by Phytophthora, however, has become one of major impediments to production. This study identified a pathogenic oomycete isolated from rotted roots of pomelo (Citrus maxima) in Thailand as Phytophthora nicotianae by the internal transcribed spacer ribosomal DNA sequence analysis. Then, we examined the in vitro and in vivo effects of Chaetomium globosum, Chaetomium lucknowense, Chaetomium cupreum and their crude extracts as biological control agents in controlling this P. nicotianae strain. Represent as antagonists in biculture test, the tested Chaetomium species inhibited mycelial growth by 50~56% and parasitized the hyphae, resulting in degradation of P. nicotianae mycelia after 30 days. The crude extracts of these Chaetomium species exhibited antifungal activities against mycelial growth of P. nicotianae, with effective doses of 2.6~101.4 µg/mL. Under greenhouse conditions, application of spores and methanol extracts of these Chaetomium species to pomelo seedlings inoculated with P. nicotianae reduced root rot by 66~71% and increased plant weight by 72~85% compared to that in the control. The method of application of antagonistic spores to control the disease was simple and economical, and it may thus be applicable for large-scale, highly effective biological control of this pathogen.