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Biological control of Sclerotinia sclerotiorum by the mycoparasite Coniothyrium minitans

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

 

Recent projects:

  • 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

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Selected publications

Coniothyrium

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Coniothyrium spores