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An Acaromyces Species Associated with Bark Beetles from Southern Pine Has Inhibitory Properties Against Raffaelea lauricola, the Causal Pathogen of Laurel Wilt Disease of Redbay

R. Olatinwo and S. Fraedrich

September 2019


Laurel wilt is a destructive disease of redbay (Persea borbonia) and other species in the laurel family (Lauraceae). It is caused by Raffaelea lauricola, a fungal symbiont of the redbay ambrosia beetle, Xyleborus glabratus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), cointroduced into the United States around 2002. During assessments of fungi associated with bark beetles from loblolly pine, an unknown fungus was isolated that appeared to have broad-spectrum antifungal activities. In this study, we identified the unknown fungus and determined the inhibitory effect of its secondary metabolites on R. lauricola. DNA analysis identified the fungus as Acaromyces ingoldii (GenBank accession no. EU770231). Secondary metabolites produced by the A. ingoldii completely inhibited R. lauricola mycelial growth on potato dextrose agar (PDA) plates preinoculated with A. ingoldii and reduced R. lauricola growth significantly on malt extract agar plates preinoculated with A. ingoldii. R. lauricola isolates inoculated on PDA plates 7 days after A. ingoldii were completely inhibited with no growth or spore germination. Direct evaluation of A. ingoldii crude extract on R. lauricola spores in a multi-well culture plate assay showed inhibition of spore germination at 10% and higher concentrations. Secondary metabolites from A. ingoldii could be potentially useful in managing the future spread of laurel wilt.


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