Characterisation of the yeast Pichia membranifaciens and its possible use in the biological control of Botrytis cinerea, causing the grey mould disease of grapevine


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Pichia membranifaciens strain FY-101, isolated from grape skins, was found to be antagonistic to Botrytis cinerea, the causal organism of the grey mould disease of the grapevine. When grown together on solid as well as liquid media, the yeast brings about the inhibition of this parasitic fungus, coagulation and leakage of its cytoplasm, and suppression of its ability to produce the characteristic grey mould symptoms on the grapevine plantlets. In vitro experiments confirm that this yeast can be used as a biological control organism against B. cinerea. An account of the molecular characterisation of P. membranifaciens (complete sequence of the ITS region of its ribosomal DNA, GenBank accession No. AF 270935), as well as the interaction between B. cinerea and the yeast, are given here.