Dodder (Cuscuta spp.) is a noxious, parasitic, annual weed throughout most of the United States. A fungus used to control it in China was imported under permit for studies with U.S. dodder species in containment. The fungus, Colletotrichum gloeosporioides, sporulated on liquid and solid media at room temperature. Conidia from 7-12 day old cultures were diluted to 3.5 to 7 X 16⁶ spores ml^-1 for host range inoculations. Germination on water agar at 24 hrs was higher at 28 than 30 or 24 C. Inoculated plants were exposed to dew periods of 12-1 4 hrs at 24 or 28 C, then transferred to growth chambers with 1 2-hr photoperiods at constant temperatures of 24, 28, and 32C. Dodder species were severely diseased but rarely killed. Symptoms were most severe on native collections of Cuscuta campestris after 4 to 5 days incubation when this species on periwinkle seedlings was inoculated with 3.5 to 7 X 10⁵ spores ml^-1 . Cuscuta cuspidata, C. pentagona, and C. campestris from a California seedlot were also tested under optimum conditions for disease. The C. campestris from California was the most susceptible. Inoculation of 16 species in eight plant families revealed no other host except sweet potato which developed a necrotic fleck. This research indicates a need for strain improvement prior to field tests.
Cartwright, D. K. and Templeton, George E.
"Preliminary Evaluation of a Dodder Anthracnose Fungus from China as a Mycoherbicide for Dodder Control in the US,"
Journal of the Arkansas Academy of Science: Vol. 43, Article 5.
Available at: https://scholarworks.uark.edu/jaas/vol43/iss1/5