Biological control of an Australian noxious weed “Angled Onion” (Allium triquetrum L.) using molecular and traditional approaches

Tehranchian, P 2012, Biological control of an Australian noxious weed “Angled Onion” (Allium triquetrum L.) using molecular and traditional approaches, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Applied Sciences, RMIT University.


Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Biological control of an Australian noxious weed “Angled Onion” (Allium triquetrum L.) using molecular and traditional approaches
Author(s) Tehranchian, P
Year 2012
Abstract Angled onion (Allium triquetrum L.) is a noxious weed in Australia and is difficult to control, especially in natural habitats. Research on biological control of A. triquetrum began in mid-2008 at the School of Applied Sciences, RMIT University, in collaboration with the Department of Primary Industries, Frankston, Victoria. There was no report of biological control of this Australian noxious weed and no research was conducted on the genetic diversity of A. triquetrum over the Australian states. Genetic analysis of A. triquetrum provenances across Australia was performed using RAPDs, PCR-RFLP and sequencing, suggested that the degree of variation was relatively small, making it a suitable biological control target. The aim of the project was initially to evaluate Stromatinia cepivora, a fungal pathogen causing white rot disease of cultivated Allium species, as a biocontrol agent to control the weed in infestations. It was not known whether the fungi would be pathogenic on this weed or if genetic differences between fungal strains or plant provenances would affect the pathogenicity and virulence. This study was the first report of pathogenicity of S. cepivora on A. triquetrum in Australia. The results achieved in this study demonstrated that there was a difference in pathogenicity and virulence of S. cepivora isolates on test-tube-grown plants in that only the DPI fresh isolate was pathogenic to Wonthaggi provenance (VIC). These results reflected the genetic diversity of both biocontrol agent and the host plants. During this study two soft rotting bacteria Pectobacterium carotovorum subsp. carotovorum and bacterium close to Ochrobactrum sp. isolated from infected A. triquetrum bulbs were also evaluated as biocontrol agents for wetter areas where sclerotia of the fungus are reported as not germinating. Pectobacterium carotovorum subsp. carotovorum has not previously been considered as a potential biological control agent for A. triquetrum in Australia, yet. The pathogenicity testing results for both test-tube-grown and potted A. triquetrum indicated that this strain of the bacterium was highly virulent on A. triquetrum in vitro in 24 h and in vivo in 2 weeks and it was not pathogenic on cultivated Allium species. The isolated bacterium close to Ochrobactrum sp. was pathogenic and virulent in vitro but not in vivo in all A. triquetrum provenances and cultivated Allium species tested. In test-tube trials both the bacterium and the fungus were separately pathogenic and highly virulent; infected plants died. However; the bacterium inhibited the fungus from growing when tested together, though host plants still died. Therefore the novel Ochrobactrum sp. had potential for control of the fungus in cultivated Allium species. In this study S. cepivora and P. carotovorum subsp. carotovorum were evaluated as potential biocontrol agents for A. triquetrum in pot trials and this research is now proceeding to field trials.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Applied Sciences
Keyword(s) Allium triquetrum
Stromatinia cepivora
Pectobacterium carotovorum
Ochrobactrum
Biological control
Genetic diversity
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Created: Tue, 26 Jun 2012, 16:12:17 EST by Guy Aron
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