Trichoderma harzianum produces nonanoic acid, an inhibitor of spore germination and mycelial growth of two cacao pathogens

Madhu Aneja, Thomas J. Gianfagna, Prakash K. Hebbar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations

Abstract

An isolate of Trichoderma harzianum Rifai from an infected cacao pod produces and secretes nonanoic (pelargonic) acid into a liquid culture medium. Nonanoic acid (NA) was very inhibitory to spore germination and mycelial growth of two cacao pathogens, Crinipellis perniciosa Stahel and Moniliophthora roreri Cif. H.C. Evans. It was highly active causing 75% inhibition of spore germination in an in vitro assay at a rate as low as 0.09 μM for M. roreri and 0.92 μM for C. perniciosa. Mycelial growth was comparatively less sensitive to inhibition, but still there was a 75% reduction in growth with 0.62 μM in M. roreri and 151 μM NA in C. perniciosa. In contrast, NA did not affect Trichoderma mycelial growth or spore germination at concentrations that were inhibitory to the pathogens. 6-pentyl-α-pyrone was also produced and secreted into the medium by T. harzianum, however; it was not antagonistic to the cacao pathogens. Although a number of metabolites produced by Trichoderma spp. have been identified in the past, this is the first report of NA production and secretion by any Trichoderma. The results suggest that NA may play a role in the successful use of some Trichoderma spp. isolates in the biocontrol of fungal diseases of plants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)304-307
Number of pages4
JournalPhysiological and Molecular Plant Pathology
Volume67
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Genetics
  • Plant Science

Keywords

  • Antifungal activity
  • Biocontrol
  • Crinipellis perniciosa
  • Frosty pod disease
  • Moniliophthora roreri
  • Pelargonic acid
  • Theobroma cacao
  • Witches' broom disease

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