About the project

PTDC/AGR-PRO/4354/2012 - Isolation and selection of endophytic fungi from olive tree for the biological control of Colletotrichum acutatum and Verticillium dahliae

Main objectives of the project

  • Assess the diversity and distribution pattern of fungal endophytes in three olive tree cultivars (Galega, Picual and Cobrançosa) with different susceptibilities to olive anthracnose and verticillium wilt.


  • Disclose potential role of fungal endophytes in the mediation of plant defense against both diseases and select the most efficient biocontrol agent.

fungal endophyte

Specific objectives

  1. Isolate fungal endophytes from three olive cultivars with different susceptibilities to C. acutatum and V. dahliae fungi. Galega cultivar is highly susceptible to C. acutatum and Picual is highly susceptible to V. dahliae but tolerant to C. acutatum. Cobrançosa is moderately tolerant to both fungal diseases. We also intend to determine the fungal distribution patterns in different olive tree tissues (roots, twigs and leaves).
  2. Evaluate the diversity of fungal endophytes in the same three olive tree cultivars by using both culture-dependent and culture-independent methods.
  3. Select those strains with the greatest antagonistic effect against C. acutatum and V. dahliae fungi using the endophytes taxa most frequently isolated. First, endophytes will be selected by using dual culture methods. A series of bioassays will be further performed to select those who present greatest ability to control anthracnose and verticillium wilt in planta conditions.