Coniothyrium minitans is a fungal parasite of sclerotia (resting bodies) of the internationally important plant pathogen, Sclerotinia sclerotiorum. At Warwick HRI we have investigated a range of features of the mycoparasite associated with its successful use as a biological control agent. These include its intraspecific diversity, examination of spore and germling surface features, studies on ecology and environmental impact, inoculum production and application, and its integration with reduced applications of fungicides.
Recently, we have been examining key features involved in pathogenicity of C. minitans through use of gene knockouts and by examining changes in gene expression during sclerotial infection. In addition, we are studying the role of antifungal metabolites produced by C. minitans in the infection process.
Recent group members:
Amanda Bennett, Mike Challen, S Muthumeenakshi (Meena), Chris Rogers, S Sreenivasaprasad (Prasad) and John Whipps
Pathogenicity traits in the mycoparasite Coniothyrium minitans (BBSRC-CSG) - completed
Enhancement and exploitation of soil biocontrol agents for bio-constraint management in crops – 2E-BCAs in crops (EU) - completed
Physiology and characterisation of antibiotic production by the mycoparasite Coniothyrium minitans (BBSRC) – with SAC Auchincruive and the University of Glasgow - completed
Integrated use of soil disinfection and microbial/organic amendments for the control of soilborne diseases and weeds in sustainable crop production (Horticulture LINK) - completed
- Integrating soil sterilisation with the application of biocontrol agents
- Biocontrol of soilborne plant diseases: use of mycoparasites that destroy sclerotia of plant pathogens