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Ecological and Genetic Diversity of Soilborne Pathogens and Indigenous Microflora
K.W. Seebold, M. Elliott, C. Canaday, C. Rothrock, A. Westphal, T. Keinath
Department of Plant Pathology
Vegetables and ornamentals are important crops grown in the southeastern US and suffer from a number of disease problems. The use of biological agents to manage diseases in these crops would offer an effective, sustainable, and evironmentally sound approach to management of disease. The purpose of this project is to evaluate biological agents for suppression of root diseases common to vegetable crops and bedding plants.
2010 Project Description
A trial was conducted in the summer of 2010 to evaluate Bioten, a commercial formulation containing Trichoderma harzianum and T. viride, for suppression of Phytophthora blight, caused by Phytophthora capsici, on summer squash when applied to soil via drip irrigation, alone or in conjunction with fungicide programs.
In 2009, results of the trial showed that Bioten-containing treatments reduced the severity of Phytophthora blight by 25% over the untreated control.; however, fungicide programs that contained Ridomil Gold applied pre-plant reduced incidence by at over 60% compared to the untreated control. The 2010 trial was lost from flooding of the field, and will be conducted again in 2011. Samples were collected from three locations (histories of vegetable, tobacco, and soybean production) in May and June, 2010 and were assayed using the toothpick method chosen by the S-1028 group. Isolates have been recovered and stored for analysis.
A commercial formulation of Trichoderma viride & T. harzianum, applied to soil by drip irrigation in 2009, was shown to suppress the incidence of Phytophthora blight on summer squash. Although not as effective as commercially available fungicides, using the biocontrol agents in conjunction with commercial fungicides may permit fewer applications or allow for reduced rates of the fungicide products. The attempt to repeat the work failed in 2010 and will be re-initiated in 2011.
A grant for $20,000 was funded by the IR-4 Biopesticide Program to seek support for the Trichoderma / P. capsici project in 2010.