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    The seed pathogen Pyrenophora semeniperda has demonstrated potential as a mycoherbicidal biocontrol for eliminating persistent seed banks of annual bromes on western North American rangelands. This pathogen exhibits variation in virulence that is related to mycelial growth rate, but direct laboratory tests of virulence on seeds often have low repeatability. We developed a rapid and sensitive high pressure liquid chromatography method for quantification of the phytotoxin cytochalasin B in complex mixtures in order to evaluate its use in virulence screening. All 10 strains tested produced large quantities of this metabolite in solid wheat seed culture, with production varying over a fourfold range (535-2256 mg kg-1). No cytochalasin B was produced in liquid potato dextrose broth culture, showing that its synthesis is strongly dependent on cultural conditions. In a Bromus tectorum coleoptile bioassay, solid culture extracts showed mild toxicity similar to the cytochalasin B standard at a concentration equivalent to 10-4 M cytochalasin B (72-95% of control), whereas at 10-3 M equivalent, the extracts exhibited significantly higher toxicity (8-18% of control) than the cytochalasin B standard (34% of control). This suggests the possible presence of other phytotoxic metabolites. Cytochalasin B production in solid wheat seed culture exhibited the predicted significant negative correlation with mycelial growth rate on potato dextrose agar, but the correlation was not very strong, possibly because cytochalasin B production and growth rate were measured under different cultural conditions.

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    Masia, Marco; Evidente, Antonio; Meyer, Susan; Nicholson, Joshua; Munoz, Ashley. 2014. Effect of strain and cultural conditions on the production of cytochalasin B by the potential mycoherbicide Pyrenophora semeniperda (Pleosporaceae, Pleosporales). Biocontrol Science and Technology. 24(1): 53-64.


    annual brome biocontrol, Bromus tectorum, HPLC (high pressure liquid chromatography), phytotoxins, seed pathogen, virulence screening

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