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The long-term ability of phosphite to control Phytophthora cinnamomi in two native plant communities of Western Australia

Tynan, K.M., Wilkinson, C.J., Holmes, J.M., Dell, B., Colquhoun, I.J., McComb, J.A. and Hardy, G.E.St.J. (2001) The long-term ability of phosphite to control Phytophthora cinnamomi in two native plant communities of Western Australia. Australian Journal of Botany, 49 (6). pp. 761-770.

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This study examined the ability of foliar applications of the fungicide phosphite to contain colonisation of Phytophthora cinnamomi in a range of plant species growing in natural plant communities in the northern sandplain and jarrah (Eucalyptus marginata) forest of south-western Australia. Wound inoculation of plant stems with P. cinnamomi was used to determine the efficacy of phosphite over time after application. Colonisation by P. cinnamomi was reduced for 5–24 months after phosphite was applied, depending on the concentration of phosphite used, plant species treated and the time of phosphite application. Plant species within and between plant communities varied considerably in their ability to take up and retain phosphite in inoculated stems and in the in planta concentrations of phosphite required to contain P. cinnamomi. As spray application rates of phosphite increased from 5 to 20 g L–1, stem tissue concentrations increased, as did the ability of a plant species to contain P. cinnamomi. However, at application rates of phosphite above 5 g L–1 phytotoxicity symptoms were obvious in most species, with some plants being killed. So, despite 10 and 20 g L–1 of phosphite being more effective and persistent in controlling P. cinnamomi, these rates are not recommended for application to the plant species studied. The results of this study indicate that foliar application of phosphite has considerable potential in reducing the impact of P. cinnamomi in native plant communities in the short-term. However, in order to maintain adequate control, phosphite should be sprayed every 6–12 months, depending on the species and/or plant community.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Copyright: (c) CSIRO
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