Title: Selection of fungal biocontrol agents for their potential control of Fusarium internal fruit rot in greenhouse bell pepper
Authors: Frans, Mario
Sauviller, Christien
Heungens, Kurt
Van Poucke, Kris
Van Calenberge, Bart
Van Herck, Liesbet
Aerts, Rudi
Ceusters, Johan
Issue Date: Nov-2014
Publisher: Instituto de Investigaciones Agropecuarias
Host Document: Proceedings of the 22st international pepper conference. pages:79-79
Series Title: Serie Actas Inia, 55
Conference: International pepper conference. edition:22 location:Vina Del Mar, Chili date:17-20 Novembre 2014
Article number: 32
Abstract: An internal fruit rot disease of sweet peppers, first reported in Canada in 2000, later emerged as a significant disease of greenhouse-grown bell pepper worldwide. It is caused primarily by members of the Fusarium lactis species complex (FLASC) and to a lesser extent by Fusarium oxysporum and Fusarium proliferatum. The infection starts via the flowers. After the initial infection, the fungus stays latent inside the fruit until maturity. During ripening, the fungus can start to proliferate on the inside of the fruit as mycelium on the ovary and/or cause necrosis. Later, sunken lesions appear on the outside of the fruit. Nearly all growers are confronted with this problem to some extent, with an average annual yield loss estimated at 5% and seasonal peaks up to 20%. Despite the importance of the disease, particularly during years with high disease incidence, efficient control is lacking. Despite the availability of chemical products against Fusarium, application of these products is not recommended as most of the diseases and pests on Belgian greenhouse bell peppers can be controlled with biocontrol agents (BCAs), generating a desired reputation of vegetable production with a low environmental impact. Furthermore, pepper flower production is irregular, which would require daily application of antifungal products during periods of flowering. Hence, the development of a biocontrol agent applied with the pollinator-vector technology has potential for effectively controlling this disease. The first screening of BCA candidates was through dual culture tests to evaluate their inhibitory and mycoparasitic abilities. Seven BCAs were selected and tested further in 2013 under conventional greenhouse conditions. First, one-day-old flowers were separately inoculated with a BCA. One day later they were inoculated with FLASC. The infection incidence in two-week-old fruits and mature fruits was determined using surface disinfection and plating techniques. Two BCA isolates (one commercially available and one KU Leuven isolate) reduced the number of infected fruits by 50%. These studies showed that BCAs have the potential to contribute to the control of Fusarium internal fruit rot. Currently we are testing the best BCAs in combination with the pollinator-vectoring technology. Acknowledgements: Flanders Agency for Innovation by Science and Technology (IWT)
ISSN: 0717-4829
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IMa
Appears in Collections:Bioengineering Technology TC, Technology Campus Geel
Technologiecluster Bioengineering Technologie

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