Amino acid utilization and synthetic capacity of two strains (JR & IR) of Macrophomina phaseoli, a jute parasite, were compared in relation to their virulence. The effects of an extraneous supply of appropriate amino acid on the pathogenicity of the avirulent strain (IR) were also studied. Chromatographic and growth studies revealed that the avirulent strain contained a greater number of amino acids but its utilizing capacity was much lower than that of the virulent strain (JR). Out of 16 amino acids and an amide tested, phenylalanine was found to be most suitable for the growth of the IR strain, the optimum concentration being 0.5 per cent. This concentration did not, however, affect the resistance of the host after foliar application but temporarily increased the pathogenicity when it was given to the pathogen (IR) in vitro. Phenylalanine was detected neither in mycelia of the tested strains nor in the healthy roots of host plants under test conditions. Efficiency of amino acid utilization could be regarded as one of the important biochemical characteristics of the virulent species. © 1974 Dr. W. Junk B.V.