Isolation and Selection of Epiphytic Yeast for Biocontrol of Botrytis cinerea Pers. on Table Grapes
Botrytis cinerea Pers., the causal agent of gray mold, infects more than 200 plant species. This pathogen has traditionally been controlled by fungicides. However, with the increasing demand for pesticide-free foods new control strategies are needed. The objective of this study was to isolate and select grapevine (Vitis vinifera L.) epiphytic yeasts for the biocontrol of B. cinerea in table grapes. Of the total isolated yeasts (n = 256), 32 exhibited mycelial growth inhibition in dual cultures with a halo > 4 mm, and eight of these isolates inhibited > 90% of conidial germination. When evaluating increasing concentrations on conidial germination inhibition, a dose-dependent response was observed with EC90 values from 0.45 x 10(5) to 0.22 x 10(8) cells mL-1. The antagonistic activity of six yeasts against B. cinerea in table grape berries ’Flame Seedless’ increased as the yeast colonization time increased from 1 to 24 h on the berries, resulting in a higher biocontrol activity on B. cinerea. These results show the effectiveness of grapevine epiphytic yeasts as biocontrol agents of B. cinerea on table grapes.