Laboratory Screening of Some Saprophytic Coffee Surface Microflora Antagonistic To Colletotrichum Kahawae

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Elijah, G.
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Saprophytic microflora were isolated from coffee berry surfaces. Eight isolates were selected for antagonistic tests against Colletotrichum kahawae. Six isolates (Bacillus macerans [two isolates], Epicoccum nigrum, Aspergillus niger, Penicillium citrinum and Pestalotiopsis sp) were selected for having inhibition zones against fungi on isolation plates and two isolates (Cladosporium sp. and Phoma sp.) were selected as being most common and populous. All the antagonists reduced germination of Colletotrichum kahawae on detached green coffee berries and with exception of Pestalotiopsis sp. they reduced appresoria formation. They all reduced infection of the berries and sporulation of Colletotrichum sp. on detached maturing coffee twigs. Four of the antagonists (Bacillus macerans, Epicoccum nigrum, Aspergillus niger and Cladosporium sp.) were found to reduce infection when used in mixtures and when grown on whole maize meal broth. It was concluded that there is potential of using saprophytic coffee surface microflora in biological control of coffee berry disease. It would also be possible to develop farm-based technology to use the microflora. Future research needs in this area are presented.
East African Agricultural and Forestry Journal, XVII (2), pp. 73-162