Isolation of fungal endophytes for the biocontrol of phytoplasmas associated with fruit trees
Endophytic fungi were isolated from apricot and peach trees which had recovered from European stone fruit yellows disease. To test for their phytoplasma antagonistic activity a plant tissue culture system based on apple proliferation-infected apple plants was used. Six selected fungi were inoculated and their effect on plant growth and phytoplasma concentration was measured. One fungus, Epicoccum nigrum, significantly reduced apple proliferation symptoms and phytoplasma concentration both in in vitro and in ex vitro plants.