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  • Author or Editor: N. C. Chatterjee x
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Effect of Trichoderma viride T1433 on the pectolytic enzyme activity of Rhizopus stolonifer (= R. artocarpi) during the development of soft rot of jackfruit was studied. Activity of different fractions of pectolytic enzymes like PG, PME and PL was investigated during pathogenesis and correspondingly the associated resistance of the host was assayed. It was noticed that the biocontrol agent, Trichoderma significantly interacts with the pectolytic enzyme activity of the pathogen. It caused an appreciable reduction in enzymatic action. The reduction in the activity of polygalacturonase enzyme (PG) was recorded to be the highest among all the fractions of pectolytic enzymes. Such a trend appeared to be more pronounced in 'Kujja' than in 'Ghula' cultivar of jackfruit. The reduction in pectolytic enzyme activity was found to be coupled with a significant increase in the activity of polyphenol oxidase enzyme of the host tissues and a concomitant increase in host phenol content. Such inter-relationship between these two enzyme systems plays a key role to stimulate the defense mechanism of the host plant against infection. Significant increase in total phenol content of the host tissue during Trichoderma plant pathogen interaction that was recorded may correspond with the host defense response.

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Biological control of die-back of bottle brush (Callistemon citrinus) caused by Botryodiplodia theobrome was made with the application of antagonistic agents like Trichoderma viride, T. lignorum, T. harzianum, Aspergillus niger and Penicillium citrinum. The effect of volatile and non-volatile antibiotics of Trichoderma origin on growth inhibition of the die-back pathogen was studied. T. harzianum showed maximum growth inhibition (75.33%) of the pathogen through mycoparasitism and the non-volatiles produced by the same agent exhibited its excellent antagonism to the growth of the pathogen (91.11%) under in vitro condition and that the effect was also proved to be durable.

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Siderophores are low molecular weight (<1000 D) iron chelating compounds produced by microorganisms. Production of siderophore is a device of antagonism as by virtue of the capacity of siderophore production, a microorganism competes for Fe (III) with the others. Production of siderophores by 9 different soil fungi and wood-decay fungi was studied following CAS - assay and CAS - agar plate assay. Optimization for the production of siderophores was done by varying the levels of pH and Fe (III) concentrations in the low nutrient medium. All the test fungi could produce siderophores, though the degree of production recorded to be very low both in Botryodiplodia theobromae and in Fusarium spp. On the other hand, all the species of Trichoderma showed their excellency in siderophore production. The optimum pH for production of siderophores remained at neutral pH level though the range varied from pH 6.0-8.0. The optimum range of the concentration of Fe (III) required for siderophore production was recorded to be 1.5-21.0 µM. However, the stress condition of iron might be a decisive factor for siderophore production.

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