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Phytopathology. 2001 Feb;91(2):143-8. doi: 10.1094/PHYTO.2001.91.2.143.

Development of Colletotrichum gloeosporioides Restriction Enzyme-Mediated Integration Mutants as Biocontrol Agents Against Anthracnose Disease in Avocado Fruits.


Reduced-pathogenicity mutants of the avocado fruit pathogen Colletotrichum gloeosporioides isolate Cg-14 (teleomorph: Glomerella cingulata) were generated by insertional mutagenesis by restriction enzyme-mediated integration (REMI) transformation. Following seven transformations, 3,500 hygromycin-resistant isolates were subjected to a virulence assay by inoculation on mesocarp and pericarp of cv. Fuerte avocado fruits. Fourteen isolates showed a reduced degree of virulence relative compared with wild-type Cg-14. Two isolates, Cg-M-142 and Cg-M-1150, were further characterized. Cg-M-142 produced appressoria on avocado pericarp similar to Cg-14, but caused reduced symptom development on the fruit's pericarp and mesocarp. Isolate Cg-M-1150 did not produce appressoria; it caused much reduced maceration on the mesocarp and no symptoms on the pericarp. Southern blot analysis of Cg-M-142 and Cg-M-1150 showed REMI at different XbaI sites of the fungal genome. Pre-inoculation of avocado fruit with Cg-M-142 delayed symptom development by the wild-type isolate. Induced resistance was accompanied by an increase in the levels of preformed antifungal diene, from 760 to 1,200 mug/g fresh weight 9 days after inoculation, whereas pre-inoculation with Cg-M-1150 did not affect the level of antifungal diene, nor did it delay the appearance of decay symptoms. The results presented here show that reduced-pathogenicity isolates can be used for the biological control of anthracnose caused by C. gloeosporioides attack.

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