Assessment of Fungal Pathogens Affecting the Weed Conyza bonariensis in Argentina

  •  Martin Bonacci    
  •  Ángela N. Formento    
  •  Fernando Daita    
  •  Melina Sartori    
  •  Miriam Etcheverry    
  •  Andrea Nesci    
  •  Germán Barros    


In the last years Conyza bonariensis has become an important weed and control is difficult with the use of current technology in Argentinean pampas region. The increasing prevalence of herbicide-resistant weed species, public concern related to pesticide use and the introduction of government policies for pesticide reduction, is driving the search for alternative methods to chemical control. The aims of the present study were to detect fungal diseases associated with C. bonariensis, to identify fungal isolates from the symptomatic leaves and to confirm through Koch’s postulates the isolates pathogenicity. Mycological analysis of symptomatic leaves showed the presence of twelve genera of filamentous fungi. Among 116 isolates, Colletotrichum spp. was the most prevalent genus followed by Nigrospora spp. and Septoria spp. In the pathogenicity assays, 22 out of 116 isolates were able to comply with the Koch’s postulates. The pathogenic isolates were included into three genera Alternaria spp., Colletotrichum spp. and Septoria spp. This study provides the first report that demonstrates pathogenicity of fungal isolates on C. bonariensis in Argentina and represents the first step in a future biocontrol program.

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