Foliar endophytic fungi of Theobroma cacao stimulate more than inhibit Moniliophthora spp. growth and behave more as an endophytes than pathogens.

OSF Preprints
Miriam VillavicencioSimon Perez-Martinez


Abstract The two most disastrous diseases of Theobroma cacao in Ecuador are caused by the pathogenic fungi Moniliophthora roreri (MR, Frosty pod) and M. perniciosa (MP, Witches' broom). Both diseases are prevalent in Ecuador since its detection in 1916 and 1921, respectively. One hundred and twenty-six isolates were isolated from healthy T. cacao leaves, originated from five nurseries in the Ecuadorian Coast. Isolates were screened in vitro for their stimulation/inhibition of growth of MR & MP. The endophytic fungi influenced the growth of Moniliophthora spp. in different manners, 91/126 of the tested isolates stimulated somehow the colony growth of both pathogens, and only 30 and 5 isolates always inhibited the mycelial growth of MR & MP, respectively. The highest percentage of growth inhibitions against MR was 71%, but quite lower for MP (18%). Only two isolates caused symptoms of chlorosis and necrosis in leaves and fruits Phomopsis spp. (Ascomycota) and Psathyrella sp. (Basidiomycota). Twenty-four isolates from 11 taxa caused necrosis only fruits (Ascomycota: Phomopsis spp., Phoma sp., Colletotrichum gloeosporioides s.l., Fusarium decemcellulare, F. equiseti, F. solani, Nectria pseudotrichia, Pestalotiopsis microspo...Continue Reading

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