Field applications of Trichoderma reduce pineapple fusariosis severity and increase fruit weight
R.O. Trocoli, F.P. Monteiro, P.O. Santos, J.T. De Souza
Fusariosis caused by Fusarium guttiforme is the main pineapple disease in Central and South America causing losses of up to 80% in fruit production. In this study, biological control with endophytic Trichoderma was investigated under field conditions to manage the disease. Twenty- five Trichoderma isolates were obtained from native plants from the Brazilian semi-arid Caatinga biome, where pineapple cultivation is expanding. Trichoderma isolates TC26, TC59 and TC07 reduced disease severity by 70, 52.5 and 47% and increased fruit weight by 56.5, 30.3 and 54.6%, respectively, in two field experiments in the Caatinga region. Although the biocontrol agents were isolated as endophytes from Caatinga plants there was no evidence of endophytic colonization of pineapple plants and therefore the mechanisms of action are still unknown. The best performing isolates were identified as T. koningiopsis (three isolates) and T. harzianum (one isolate) based on partial sequences of the tef-1α gene. These results indicate that Trichoderma isolates may be used to control fusariosis under field conditions.