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Vol. 105, No. 1, 2013; Page: 141 - 150

The double life of Ceratobasidium: orchid mycorrhizal fungi and their potential for biocontrol of Rhizoctoniasolani sheath blight of rice

Ana Teresa Mosquera-Espinosa, Paul Bayman, Gustavo A. Prado,Arnulfo Gómez-Carabalí and J. Tupac Otero

Department of Agricultural Sciences, National University of Colombia at Palmira Research Group in Orchids, Ecology, and Plant Systematics. National University of Colombia at Palmira.


Ceratobasidium includes orchid mycorrhizal symbionts, plant pathogens and biocontrol agents of soilborne plant pathogens. It is not known to what extent members of the first guild also can participate in the others. Ceratobasidiumspp. were isolated from roots of Colombian orchids and identified by phylogeny based on nrITS sequences. Phylogenetic grouping ofCeratobasidium spp. isolates corresponded to orchid host substrate (epiphytic vs. terrestrial). Isolates were tested for virulence on rice and for biocontrol ofRhizoctonia solani, causal agent of sheath blight of rice. All Ceratobasidiumspp. isolates caused some signs of sheath blight but significantly less than a pathogenic R. solani used as a positive control. When Ceratobasidium spp. isolates were inoculated on rice seedlings 3 d before R. solani, they significantly reduced disease expression compared to controls inoculated withR. solani alone. The use of Ceratobasidium spp. from orchids for biological control is novel, and biodiverse countries such as Colombia are promising places to look for new biocontrol agents.

Keywords: biological control; integrated pest management; pathogenic fungi; soilborne pathogen



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