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Phytotoxic effects of the fungicide phosphite when used to control Phytophthora cinnamomi in native plant communities

Hardy, G., Holmes, J., Wilkinson, C., Tynan, K., McDougall, K., Dell, B., Colquhoun, I., McComb, J. and Roos, G. (1997) Phytotoxic effects of the fungicide phosphite when used to control Phytophthora cinnamomi in native plant communities. In: 11th Biennial Conference of the Australasian Plant Pathology Society, 29 September - 2 October, Perth, Western Australia.

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Phosphite controls many plant diseases caused by Phytophthora, even at concentrations in planta which only partially inhibit pathogen growth in vitro. It is unique among fungicides in that it is translocated in both the xylem and phloem. This property, along with their good water solubility, enables them to be applied to tree crops by trunk injection, aerial application or backpack spray units for the control of Phytophthora root rots. One of the consequences of phosphite treatment is that it induces a strong and rapid defence response in the challenged plant. These defence responses stop pathogen spread in a large number of hosts.

The Department of Conservation and Land Management (CALM) in Western Australia has conducted research• on the potential of phosphite to control Phytophthora spp. in a few plant species. Recent work completed at Murdoch University in conjuction with Alcoa of Australia Ltd and CALM has indicated that some plants (i) vary in their response to phosphite as the concentration increases, (ii) are affected by and recover from phytotoxicity in different ways and time periods, (iii) distribute phosphite differently within the plant, and (iv) sometimes reduce flowering and seed set. A series of trials are currently being conducted to investigate these points on a range of native plant species from different areas within Western Australia.

Item Type: Conference Item
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Biological and Environmental Sciences
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