Inactivation of sclerotia of Rhizoctonia solani on potato tubers by Verticillium biguttatum, a soil-borne mycoparasite

Research paper by G. Jager, H. Velvis

Indexed on: 01 Sep '88Published on: 01 Sep '88Published in: European Journal of Plant Pathology


Experiments in the laboratory and on farms with potato tubers in storage are described in which sclerotia ofRhizoctonia solani were inactivated after inoculation of infected tubers with a suspension of conidia and hyphal fragments ofVerticillium biguttatum.Sclerotia on freshly harvested tubers can be killed in a period of six to eight weeks, provided that (1) a direct contact between sclerotia and conidia ofV. biguttatum is obtained, (2) the temperature during the storage period is at least 15 °C, but preferably closer to 20 °C during the first weeks, and (3) the relative humidity of the air between the tubers is at least 99%.Seed tubers are only certified as export quality if the infection withR. solani, visible as sclerotia on the tubers, is assessed as below a specified incidence. To restore the economical value of tubers with many sclerotia, living sclerotia can be inactivated byV. biguttatum. However, also dead sclerotia have to be removed, as dead and living sclerotia cannot be distinguished visually by inspectors. A satisfactory way to remove dead sclerotia from tubers has not yet been found.