Mitoviruses have been found in several forest pathogens (e.g. Cryphonectria parasitica, Gremmeniella abietina), and because they have been shown to reduce the virulence of host fungi there is a growing interest in studying their use as a biocontrol. This study was carried out to test the effect of temperature (5 ºC, 15 ºC, 25 ºC and 35 ºC), pH (4, 5, 7 and 9) and osmotic potential (-0.6, -1.2, -1.8 -2.4 MPa) on the mycelial growth of seven G. abietina isolates under controlled laboratory conditions and to observe the effect of the presence of mitoviruses in the pathogenity of G. abietina isolates inoculated to Pinus halepensis seedlings. Four of the isolates hosted mitoviruses and three of them did not. During the in vitro experiment, mycelial growth was recorded every week for a period of 8 weeks. In the greenhouse experiment, once the seedlings started to show symptoms, disease severity was recorded during 5 weeks. At the end of the experiment, plants were carried to laboratory and necrosis length was measured in all of them. Results from in vitro experiment showed that the mitovirus-infected isolates presented larger mycelial growth than the mitovirus-free ones when at the fungi’s optimal growing temperature of 15 ºC. However, no differences in growth behavior were observed between mitovirus infected and non-infected isolates when placed under different pH modifications. When growing at certain osmotic potentials, variations in the behavior of the isolates with and without viral infection were also observed. Principally, at the higher osmotic potentials (-0.6 and -1.2 MPa) a reduction in growth of the mitovirus-infected isolates was observed in comparison with the growth of the mitovirus-free isolates while an increase was observed at the lower values (-2.4 MPa). In the greenhouse experiment, larger necrosis lengths were observed in the plants inoculated with mitovirus infected isolates. The results of this experiment provide further insight into the effects of mitovirus on Gremmeniella abietina isolates.
ETS Ingenierías Agrarias Universidad de Valladolid - Avd. Madrid s/n
34004 - PALENCIA - Localización
INIA-CIFOR - Ctra. A Coruña km 7,5
28040 - MADRID - Localización
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