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Biofumigants suppress the growth, sporulation and survival of Phytophthora cinnamomi

Dunne, C.P., Dell, B. and Hardy, G.E.St.J. (2003) Biofumigants suppress the growth, sporulation and survival of Phytophthora cinnamomi. In: 8th International Congress of Plant Pathology: Solving problems in the real world, (ICPP 2003), 2 - 7 February, Christchurch; New Zealand.


Biofumigation is the suppression of pathogens and pests by the incorporation of Brassica plants into soil. Although biofumigants have been shown to suppress a range of fungal pathogens, little information is available on how they affect Phytophthora cinnamomi. In the current study, the in vitro growth of 6 Phytophthora cinnamomi isolates was measured after exposure to the volatile chemicals produced from decomposing Brassica juncea (Indian mustard) tissue. The suppressive effect of the root and shoot tissues were determined separately using 3 rates (0, 0.5 and 1 g dw L-1 ) of the biofumigant. All rates of both tissue types significantly suppressed the growth of the P cinnamomi isolates. B. juncea shoot tissue was superior in its suppression to the root tissue. To determine if B. juncea reduced inoculum levels, Japanese millet seed Colonised by a P cinnamomi isolate was mixed at 4 % with potting mix. The potting mix was amended with 3 rates of combined B. juncea tissues (0, 1.5, 3% fresh weight) before being placed in 15 cm pots. The soil in the pots was monitored for the pathogen for 21 days after incorporation by the plating and baiting of soil and soil leachate. Prior to soil being sampled, the pots were flooded for 48 hrs in order to provide conducive conditions for the sporulation and survival of the pathogen. The biofumigant reduced recovery of P. cinnamomi, but only up to 9 days after incorporation. The potential of biofumigation as a tool in an integrated approach to control P cinnamomi in horticulture is discussed.

Item Type: Conference Item
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Centre for Phytophthora Science and Management
School of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology
Publisher: Horticulture Australia
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