Greenhouse and field experiments showed that conidia of the fungal pathogen, Phoma commelinicola,
activity against spreading dayflower (Commelina diffusa
) seedlings when applied at concentrations of 106
. Greenhouse tests determined an optimal temperature for conidial germination of 25 °C–30 °C, and that sporulation occurred on several solid growth media. A dew period of ≥ 12 h was required to achieve 60% control of cotyledonary-first leaf growth stage seedlings when applications of 108
were applied. Maximal control (80%) required longer dew periods (21 h) and 90% plant dry weight reduction occurred at this dew period duration. More efficacious control occurred on younger plants (cotyledonary-first leaf growth stage) than older, larger plants. Mortality and dry weight reduction values in field experiments were ~70% and >80%, respectively, when cotyledonary-third leaf growth stage seedlings were sprayed with 108
. These results indicate that this fungus has potential as a biological control agent for controlling this problematic weed that is tolerant to the herbicide glyphosate.
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