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Interactions between Melamspora larici-epitea pathotypes and the mycoparasite Sphaerellopsis filum from willow rusts

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Five pathotypes of the willow rust Melamspora larici-epitea were inoculated with 12 isolates of Sphaerellopsis filum derived from Melampsora species/forms occurring on willows. On average, 20.5% uredinial pustules produced S. filum pycnidia and rust spore production was reduced by 38.4% on leaf discs inoculated with S. filum. Some rust isolates were more readily infected by S. filum than others while some S. filum isolates caused higher levels of infections than other S. filum isolates. In general, the suppressive effects of these S. filum isolates on rust spore production were similar on the majority of rust pathotypes tested. There appeared to be a positive link between the rust pustule area and the rate of infection by S. filum. Sphaerellopsis filum inoculum densities were positively correlated with the reduction in rust spore production but not with the number of rust pustules. Implications from the results were discussed in relation to the deployment of S. filum in biological control of willow rust in willow mixture plantations which harbour more diverse rust pathotypes compared with monocultures.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Rothamsted Research, Harpenden, Hertfordshire AL5 2JQ, UK 2: 4 Wally Court Road, Chew Stoke, Bristol BS40 8XL, UK

Publication date: 2010-02-01

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