Improved microassays used to test natural product-based and conventional fungicides on plant pathogenic fungi
Seven important plant pathogenic fungi (Botrytis cinerea, Colletotrichum acutatum, C. fragariae, C. gloeosporioides, Fusarium oxysporum, Phomopsis obscurans, and P viticola) valuable in screening fungicides were tested. Our procedure included washing conidia to reduce germination times, incorporating Roswell Park Memorial Institute 1640 as a medium of known composition, and using coverslips in the 24-well cell culture clusters to document the effect of fungicides on fungal morphology. The natural product-based fungicide, sampangine, a sampangine analog, 4-bromosampangine, plus seven conventional fungicides (benomyl, captan, cyprodinil, fenbuconazole, fenhexamid, iprodione, and kresoxim-methyl) were tested in vitro for their ability to inhibit germination and growth of the seven fungal species. Sampangine inhibited germination in all fungi except C acutatum. Comparison of results of germination and morphology microbioassays with results of microtiter assays suggests that some fungicides stop fungal germination, whereas others only slow down fungal growth. We hypothesize that sampangine, except against C acutatum, has the same physical mode of action, germination inhibition, as the conventional fungicides captan, iprodione, and kresoxim-methyl. 4-Bromosampangine caused morphological anomalies including excessive branching of germ tubes of C. fragariae and splaying and branching of germ tubes of B. cinerea.