Effects of pH and Aeration on Sclerotium rolfsii sacc. Mycelial Growth, Sclerotial Production and Germination
Sclerotium rolfsii is one of the devastating soilborne fungus responsible for significant plant losses. The effects of pH and aeration on pathogen mycelial growth, sclerotial production and germination were investigated for three Tunisian isolates. Optimal mycelial growth occurred at pH 6 for Sr2 and Sr3 isolates and at pH 6-7 for Sr1. Dry mycelial growth was optimum at pH values ranging between 4 and 7. Sclerotial initiation started on the 3rd day of incubation at all pH values tested and mature sclerotia were formed after 6 to 12 days. Optimal sclerotial production was noted at pH 5. The dry weight of 100 sclerotia varied depending on isolates and pH and occurred at pH range 4-7. At pH 9, mycelial growth, sclerotial production and dry weight of 100 sclerotia were restricted. The optimum sclerotial germination, noted after 24 h of incubation, varied depending on isolates and pH and occurred at pH 4-9. Mycelial growth was optimum in aerated plates with a significant isolates x aeration treatments interaction. Sclerotial initiation occurred at the 3rd day of incubation and mature sclerotia were observed after 6-9 days. Sclerotial development was very slow in completely sealed plates and dark sclerotia were produced only after 15 days of incubation. The highest sclerotial yields were noted in aerated plates. The highest dry weight of 100 sclerotia for Sr1 isolate was recorded in ½ sealed, no sealed and completely sealed plates, while for Sr2, it was noted in ½ and ⅔ sealed plates. For Sr3, the maximum dry weight of 100 sclerotia was recorded in ½, ⅔ and completely sealed plates. Germination of S. rolfsii sclerotia, after 24 h of incubation, did not vary significantly depending on aeration treatments and ranged from 90 to 100% for all isolates.
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