Biological Control Potential of Colletotrichum gloeosporioides for Coffee Senna (Cassia occidentalis)


A fungal pathogen, Colletotrichum gloeosporioides was isolated from a greenhouse-grown seedling of coffee senna (Cassia occidentalis) and evaluated as a mycoherbicide for that weed. Host range tests revealed that coffee senna, wild senna (C. marilandica), and sicklepod (C. obtusifolia) were also affected by this pathogen, but 35 other crop and weed species, representing 8 botanical families were not affected. The fungus sporulated prolifically on solid and liquid media with maximum spore germination and growth occurring at 20°C - 30°C. Optimal environmental conditions included at least 12 h of free moisture (dew) at 20°C - 30°C. Spray mixtures containing approximately 1.0 × 105 or more conidia·ml–1 gave maximum control when coffee senna seedlings were sprayed until runoff occurred. Coffee senna seedlings that were in the cotyledon to first-leaf growth stage were most susceptible to this pathogen. Weed control efficacy studies under field conditions demonstrated that control of coffee senna was directly proportional to the inoculum concentration applied. Results of these tests suggest that this fungus has potential as a mycoherbicide to control coffee senna, a serious weed in the southeastern U.S.

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Boyette, C. , Hoagland, R. , Weaver, M. and Stetina, K. (2012) Biological Control Potential of Colletotrichum gloeosporioides for Coffee Senna (Cassia occidentalis). American Journal of Plant Sciences, 3, 430-436. doi: 10.4236/ajps.2012.34052.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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