Six isolates of Trichoderma were screened for antagonism to Armillaria in tea stem sections buried in the soil. The inability of Armillaria to invade Trichoderma-colonized stem sections and the reduction of its viability in the plant materials following invasion of these by Trichoderma were used as indicators of antagonism. Four isolates of the species Trichoderma harzianum significantly (P <0.001) reduced the incidence of the pathogen in the plant materials. Isolate T4 completely eliminated the pathogen from plant materials in sterile soil and also antagonized two different isolates of the pathogen in nonsterile soil. Application of this T harzianum isolate to the soil as a wheat bran culture significantly (P <0.001) reduced viability of Armillaria in woody blocks of inoculum. Soil amendment with coffee pulp also reduced the inoculum viability but did not affect the incidence of Trichoderma in the blocks of inoculum. We conclude that the direct application of wheat bran-formulated T harzianum into soil surrounding woody Armillaria inoculum sources can suppress the pathogen. Further, no organic amendment is needed to enhance development of the antagonist in the soil as a pre-requisite to suppressing the pathogen. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science (USA). All rights reserved.
- biological-control agents
- rot fungus