New epiphytic yeasts able to reduce grey mold disease on apples A., Essghaier B., Hedi A., Dhieb C., Sadfi Zouaoui N. (2018): New epiphytic yeasts able to reduce grey mold disease on apples. Plant Protect. Sci., 54: 248-257.
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Botrytis cinerea, the causal agent of grey mould, is a predominant agent causing extensive postharvest and quality losses of apples in Tunisia and worldwide. Efforts to manage this disease have met with limited success. For this reason, the use of microorganism preparations to control fungal diseases as an alternative to fungicides became an urgent need. From a total of 60 epiphytic yeasts, 10 were assessed in vitro against B. cinerea and selected isolates showing antagonism were evaluated for their ability to suppress the grey mould in vivo. On Petri plates, the most promising strains (three strains of Aureobasidium pullulans, one Cryptococcus flavescens, and one Citeromyces matritensis) showed a zone of inhibition against the pathogen fungus not exceeding 10 mm. In vivo, these isolates showed a remarkable antifungal activity since they significantly reduced disease severity on apples from 63% to 95% compared to the control. In conclusion, the work has demonstrated that the three strains, L7 of Aureobasidium pullulans, L2 of Citeromyces matritensis, and L10 of Cryptococcus flavescens, were highly effective and can be used as potential biocontrol agents in controlling the post-harvest decay of apples caused by B. cinerea.

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