Volume 16 Part 1 Article 58: Flies and Dry Bubble on Cultivated Mushrooms

Volume 16 Part 1 Article 58
Year 2004
Title: Flies and Dry Bubble on Cultivated Mushrooms
Authors: A. Clift, A. Shamshad and M.A. Terras


There is a generally recognized association between mushroom flies, especially the phorid, Megaselia halterata, and dry bubble disease caused by Verticillium fungicola. However, apart from a single experiment reported in 1981, which is cited in most papers on managing Verticillium, there has been limited detailed evidence for this association. We present data for such an association from a survey of commercial farms (Agaricus bisporus) in the Sydney area from 1989-91 and experimental evidence from mushroom research facilities. The farm survey data showed an association between mushroom flies, especially phorids, and the incidence of Verticillium. There were three growing experiments in which phorids were collected from commercial farms with a Verticillium problem. Verticillium infection did not eventuate in the first experiment, established to some extent in the second experiment and established well in the third experiment. Interpretation was confounded by having three strains of Verticillium that differed in virulence, differences in time of release of the phorids into the growing room, and the number of phorids released. The highest incidence of Verticillium was with the fewest number of phorids released, probably reflecting the virulence of the Verticillium strain. The results from the second and third experiments supported the earlier work in that a relatively low number of phorids could introduce sufficient Verticillium inoculum to initiate an infection by the third flush.

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