Effects of UV-B radiation on the antagonistic ability of Clonostachys rosea to Botrytis cinerea on strawberry leaf disc
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Human activities are altering the concentrations of ozone in the troposphere and hence in the incidence of ultraviolet-B (UV-B) on Earth’s surface. Although representing only five percent of UV-B radiation striking the Earth's surface, this radiation has the potential to cause effects on biologically active molecules. Sensitivity to UV-B radiation is one of the limitations of biological control of plant pathogens in the field. The objectives of this work were to evaluate the effects of UV-B on several isolates of Clonostachys rosea, and the ability of an isolate of C. rosea, previously selected for its tolerant to UV-B radiation, to control Botrytis cinerea on strawberry leaves in controlled conditions (strawberry leaf discs). The germination of C. rosea conidia was inversely proportional to the irradiance. The most tolerant strain (LQC62) had relative germination of about 60% after irradiation of 4.2kJ/m2, and this strain was selected to be used in the subsequent studies. The data showed that even with exposure to UV-B radiation, C. rosea LQC62 controlled the pathogen. Conidial concentrations of strain LQC62 above 105 conidia/ml showed higher tolerance to UV-B radiation and increased ability to control more than 75% of the B. cinerea even with exposure to radiation. According to our results, in addition to showing less growth under UV-B, conidia of C. rosea had lower antagonistic ability. Further studies are needed to observe the tolerance of B. cinerea conidia to UV-B radiation and thereby prove that an environment with increased UV-B radiation may be favoring the pathogen due to a lower ability of C. rosea to control the pathogen in conditions of increased UV-B.