Cadophora malorum isolate Mln715 and Alternaria jacinthicola strain MUCL 53159 are under development as biocontrol agents against Water Hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) in Mali. Production of spores of these agents on locally available substrates (Water Hyacinth, powdered paddy rice chaff, wheat semolina) was assessed with a view to mass production. The C. malorum isolate sporulated best on Water Hyacinth (4.08 × 107 spores ml-1), followed by wheat (1.06 ×107 spores ml-1), whereas A. jacinthicola produced more spores on paddy rice chaff and wheat (0.24 x 107 spores ml-1). The severity of the damage caused by each pathogen was evaluated in the greenhouse and in the field. Under both greenhouse and field conditions, the biocontrol efficacy of the fungal isolates was improved with (unrefined) Carapa procera (L.) oil or (refined) palm oil, supplemented with soybean lecithin and Tween 20. When such a formulation was used, the incubation time was 4 to 5 days in the greenhouse and 7 to 9 days on the field, and the damage severity (DS) recorded 6 weeks after treatment varied from 87.02 to 93.13% in the greenhouse and from 59.11 to 63.00% in the field. For unformulated C. malorum and A. jacinthicola respectively, the incubation times were longer and the DS values were only 22.11 and 29.05% in the greenhouse and 12.05 and 15.15% on the field. Our results highlight good substrates for mass production of these mycoherbicides and demonstrate the ability of vegetable oil formulations to improve their efficacy.
Key words: Alternaria jacinthicola, biocontrol, Cadophora malorum, oil formulation, Water Hyacinth.
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