n Oilseeds Focus - Biological control of Sclerotinia diseases associated with oilseeds crops - sseds

Volume 5 Number 4
  • ISSN : 2410-1206


Sclerotinia sclerotiorum is one of the most devastating soilborne plant pathogens and it affects more than 500 plant species, including important oilseeds and protein crops. This pathogen has become a significant threat to the production of crops such as sunflower and soya bean in South Africa. The primary sign of Sclerotinia is white, cottony mycelium with the subsequent production of melanised hyphal masses, and survival structures called sclerotia. One of the primary reasons why control of Sclerotinia diseases is so difficult, is related to the biology of the pathogen and its complex interactions with the host crop and environment. Sclerotia can persist on plant debris or in the soil for extended periods of time. Eliminating these sources of inoculum from fields remains a challenge. Sclerotia can lead to the infection of plants by means of ascospores released from apothecia and by mycelial infection through the soil, both germinating from sclerotia under differential conditions. Recent research indicates that there is great potential in utilising microorganisms, plant extracts and resistance inducers (RIs) to control plant diseases.

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