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ABSTRACT: The fungal plant pathogen, Colletotrichum gloeosporioides f. sp. aeschynomene (CGA), has been used successfully since 1982 to control northern jointvetch (NJV), Aeschynomene virginica, in rice and soybeans in the USA as COLLEGO®, a bioherbicidal formulation of a single isolate of this pathogen. The interactions and fitness of different field isolates of this fungus and effective bioherbicide have not been fully examined. We examined CGA population structure and inter-isolate competition using molecular markers in field and greenhouse experiments. NJV plants were first inoculated with one isolate or a mixture of two isolates, Cla-5a and 3-1-3, followed by a challenge inoculation containing either one or both isolates, 4 or 5 days later. Plants first inoculated with Cla-5a alone, or in mixture with 3-1-3, had Cla-5a comprising approximately 80% of the population after 21 days regardless of challenge inoculation. In contrast, when the primary treatment was 3-1-3 alone, wounding, or benzodiathiazole, 3-1-3 detection only approached 50% of the population following challenge inoculation. Primary inoculation with Cla-5a significantly reduced the number of lesions caused by 3-1-3 challenge, whereas primary inoculation with 3-1-3 did not significantly affect the number of lesions caused by Cla-5a challenge. Size of lesions caused by the two isolates following challenge inoculations and dispersal of the isolates from lesions to healthy plants were not affected by the primary inoculation. These results suggest a specific interaction by Cla-5a with the host defense response creating a more favorable environment for its own colonization of NJV to the exclusion of 3-1-3.
Biological Control. 01/2008;