BACKGROUND: Phoma stem canker is caused by two co-existing pathogens Leptosphaeria maculans and L. biglobosa. They co-exist because of their temporal and spatial separations, that are associated with the differences in timing of their ascospore release. L. maculans produces sirodesmin PL, while L. biglobosa does not. However, their interaction/co-existence in terms of secondary metabolite production is not understood.

RESULTS: Secondary metabolites were extracted from liquid cultures, L. maculans only (Lm only), L. biglobosa only (Lb only), L. maculans and L. biglobosa simultaneously (Lm&Lb) or sequentially 7 days later (Lm+Lb). Sirodesmin PL or its precursors were identified in extracts from ‘Lm only’ and ‘Lm+Lb’, but not from ‘Lm&Lb’. Metabolites from ‘Lb only’, ‘Lm&Lb’ or ‘Lm+Lb’ caused significant reductions in L. maculans colony area. However, only the metabolites containing sirodesmin PL caused a significant reduction to L. biglobosa colony area. When oilseed rape cotyledons were inoculated with conidia of ‘Lm only’, ‘Lb only’ or ‘Lm&Lb’, ‘Lm only’ produced large grey lesions, while ‘Lm&Lb’ produced small dark lesions similar to lesions caused by ‘Lb only’. Sirodesmin PL was found only in the plant extracts from ‘Lm only’. These results suggest that L. biglobosa prevents the production of sirodesmin PL and its precursors by L. maculans when they grow simultaneously in vitro or in planta.

CONCLUSION: For the first time, L. biglobosa has been shown to inhibit the production of sirodesmin PL by L. maculans when interacting simultaneously with L. maculans either in vitro or in planta. This antagonistic effect of interspecific interaction may affect their co-existence and subsequent disease progression and management.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberPS7275
JournalPest Management Science
Publication statusPublished - 3 Nov 2022


  • Oilseed Rape
  • phoma stem canker
  • Leptosphaeria species


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