Control of Botrytis cinerea in Eucalyptus globulus Mini-Cuttings using Clonostachys and Trichoderma Strains

Salomé Zaldúa1 and Eugenio Sanfuentes1

Botrytis cinerea Pers. ex Fr. causes the disease known as gray mold in more than 200 hosts. It is one of the most important pathogens in Chilean forest nurseries and Eucalyptus globulus Labill. is one of the most susceptible species, especially in vegetative reproduction systems. Clonostachys and Trichoderma strains were selected as potential biocontrol agents of gray mold in previous research by the authors. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of antagonistic fungi to control B. cinerea in E. globulus mini-cuttings. Five fungi strains were tested and applied weekly, two Clonostachys and three Trichoderma (5 x 106 conidia mL-1). In addition, comparison treatments were also used: absolute control (water) and fungicide application. The experiment was carried out under operational conditions to produce E. globulus mini-cuttings. The Clonostachys UDC-A10 and UDC-A11 strains reduce mini-cutting mortality caused by B. cinerea in 54 and 71%, respectively, and with effects similar to those achieved by fungicides. Clonostachys UDC-A11 reduces the disease progression rate with the same statistical results as fungicides. A negative effect of applying fungicides on rooting of the surviving mini-cuttings was also confirmed. These results demonstrate the effectiveness of Clonostachys as a control agent against gray mold disease in E. globulus mini-cuttings.

Keywords: biocontrol agents, forest nurseries, eucalyptus, gray mold, antagonistic fungi.
1Universidad de Concepción, Facultad de Ciencias Forestales y Centro de Biotecnología, Casilla 160 C, Concepción, Chile. *Corresponding author (esanfuen@udec.cl).