Biological control of Egyptian broomrape (Orobanche aegyptiaca) using Fusarium spp.

I. Ghannam, R. Barakat, M. Al-Masri


The broomrape (Orobanche spp.) is an obligate holoparasitic weed that causes severe damage to many important vegetable crops. Many broomrape control strategies have been tested over the years. In this investigation, 125 Fusarium spp. isolates were recovered from diseased broomrape spikes collected from fields in agricultural areas near Hebron. The pathogenicity of isolates on broomrape was evaluated using an inoculum suspension containing mycelia and conidia. The most effective Fusarium isolates significantly increased the dead spikes of broomrape by 33.6–72.7% compared to the control; there was no obvious pathogenic effect on the tomato plants. Fusarium spp. isolates Fu 20, 25 and 119 were identified as F. solani, while Fu 30, 52, 59, 87 and 12-04 were F. oxysporum. In addition, the two previously known Fusarium strains, F. oxysporum strain EId (CNCM-I-1622) (Foxy) and F. arthrosporioides strain E4a (CNCM-I-1621) (Farth) were equally effective in controlling broomrape parasitizing tomato plants grown in pots, where the dead spikes of broomrape increased by 50.0 and 51.6%, respectively.

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