The pathogenicity of an Australian isolate of Acremonium zonatum to water hyacinth, and its relationship with the biological control agent, Neochetina eichhorniae
Australian Journal of Agricultural Research
38(1) 219 - 229
The first description of Acremonium zonatum on water hyacinth in Australia is made. Its pathogenicity was studied as part of the search for a microorganism already present in Australia which could be developed as a mychoherbicide to supplement the arthropod biological control programme in this country. Following inoculation with A. zonatum, extensive leaf infections developed, favoured by injury and free moisture, but new leaves continued to form. Feeding by the weevil, Neochetina eichhorniae, increased infection by A. zonatum in relatively dry conditions, but it is unlikely that this was due to feeding scars acting as ports of entry. A. zonatum spores were transported on the feet and in the digestive tract of the weevil. The growth of infected plants, estimated by standing crop, was reduced by 49% compared to the control. A further decrease occurred in infected plants infested by weevils, but the total reduction in growth was not equal to the sum of the individual effects of fungus and weevil. Infection did not develop in 15 other plant species inoculated with the Australian isolate of A. zonatum. Although not a virulent pathogen, A. zonatum has some favourable characteristics for consideration as a mycoherbicide and has not appeared antagonistic to N. eichhorniae in these studies. Its role probably lies in exerting a chronic stress on plants already under attack by arthropod biological control agents.
Full text doi:10.1071/AR9870219
© CSIRO 1987