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Granulobasidium vellereum (Ellis &Cragin) Jülich, a promising biological control agent

Robles, Carolina A., Ceriani-Nakamurakare, Esteban, Slodowicz, Mariel, González-Audino, Paola, Carmarán, Cecilia C.
Biological control 2018 v.117 pp. 99-108
Basidiomycota, Platanus acerifolia, Populus, ambrosia beetles, antifungal properties, biological control, biological control agents, decay fungi, endophytes, forest pests, forests, in vitro studies, sesquiterpenoids, trees, volatile organic compounds, weight loss, wood
Studies involving biological control of wood decay fungi and pests in forest areas are scarce. The basidiomycete Granulobasidium vellereum (Ellis & Cragin) Jülich has been isolated as wood endophyte from London Plane trees (Platanus acerifolia (Ait.) Willd). This basidiomycete produces a variety of sesquiterpenes with antifungal activity. In this study we evaluated the potential activity of G. vellereum against wood decay fungi and fungi associated with the ambrosia beetle Megaplatypus mutatus Chapuis, an important forest pest in Populus sp. A combination of in vitro assays was made, in cultures and on wood blocks. Granulobasidium vellereum’s Volatile Organic Compounds (FVOCs) were characterized and their potential role in biocontrol was assessed. Granulobasidium vellereum did not cause a significant loss of weight on P. acerifolia and Populus wood and inhibited the growth of the target fungi, mainly when inoculated first. Up to nineteen volatile compounds were determined in G. vellereum strains. The growth of all target fungi was inhibited by FVOCs and in some cases the morphology of the fungi was altered. These results indicate that G. vellereum can be used as a Biological Control Agent (BCA) of xylophagous fungi and fungi related to forest pests. Further investigations should focus on developing application strategies for M. mutatus management.