Chlorella vulgaris and Tetradesmus obliquus Protect Spinach (Spinacia oleracea L.) against Fusarium oxysporum

Algal Research

Catarina Viana, Méanne Genevace, Florinda Gama, Luisa Coelho, Hugo Pereira, João Varela, Mário Reis

Chlorella vulgaris and Tetradesmus obliquus were tested as biocontrol agents against the phytopathogenic fungus Fusarium oxysporum. This evaluation was conducted through in vitro and in vivo trials with spinach (Spinacia oleracea L.). The in vitro trials showed that C. vulgaris and T. obliquus were able to inhibit the phytopathogen, showing a similar inhibitory effect to that of the positive controls (Rovral, BASF® and Biocontrol T34, Biocontrol Technologies® S.L.). C. vulgaris aqueous suspensions at 3.0 g L−1 led to a hyphal growth of 0.55 cm, each corresponding to a reduction of 63% of fungal growth. With T. obliquus, the hyphal growth was 0.53 cm when applied at a concentration of 0.75 g L−1, having an inhibition of fungus growth of 64%. Thereafter, these results were validated in an in vivo trial on spinach using the same controls. The results revealed a lower severity and disease incidence and a reduction in the disease’s AUDPC (area under the disease progress curve) when spinach was treated with the microalgae suspensions. Overall, these findings highlight the potential of C. vulgaris and T. obliquus suspensions as promising biocontrol agents against F. oxysporum in spinach when applied through irrigation.

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