FACTORS AFFECTING VIABILITY OF STRANDS OF PHYMATOTRICHUM OMNIVORUM (SHEAR) DUGGAR.
AdvisorHine, Richard B.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractDeclining infestations and the cyclic appearance of Phymatotrichum root rot of cotton from season to season led to the suggestion that antagonistic microorganisms were the cause of this phenomenon. This study was concerned primarily with Actinomycetes spp., fluorescent Pseudomonads, Trichoderma spp., and other fungi. There was a continuous fluctuation in the population of Actinomycetes spp. and fluorescent Pseudomonads on the surface of strands. Populations of these antagonistic organisms dropped as the viability of strands of P. omnivorum decline. Comparison of the rhizoplane microflora from infected and healthy roots showed no relationship between the populations of Actinomycetes spp. and fluorescent Pseudomonads and the resistance of healthy roots to invasion by P. omnivorum. Similarly, soil samples collected from areas with declining infestations and assayed for populations of Actinomycetes spp. and fluorescent Pseudomonads, revealed no differences in the populations of these antagonistic organisms. This indicates that the absence of the disease in areas with declining infestations is not due to the microorganisms investigated in this study. Higher mortality rates of strands of P. omnivorum occurred when strands were exposed to Actinomycetes spp. and fluorescent Pseudomonads or to their metabolites. The hyphal deformation observed on strands from the field could not be reproduced in vitro. The same antagonistic microorganisms sprayed on cotton roots containing strands failed to reduce strand viability.
Degree ProgramPlant Pathology