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Plant and Soil

, Volume 162, Issue 1, pp 107–112 | Cite as

Biofumigation: Isothiocyanates released frombrassica roots inhibit growth of the take-all fungus

  • J. F. Angus
  • P. A. Gardner
  • J. A. Kirkegaard
  • J. M. Desmarchelier
Article

Abstract

The presence of root tissue of the brassicas canola and Indian mustard inhibited growth of pure cultures of the fungal pathogen which causes take-all of wheat [Gaeumannomyces graminis (Sacc.) Arx and Oliver var.tritici, abbreviated as Ggt]. Ggt growth was generally inhibited more in the presence of Indian mustard roots than canola roots. Dried irradiated roots were consistently effective in reducing Ggt growth, but growth inhibition by young live roots and macerated roots was not consistent. The inhibitory compound(s) were shown to be volatile because the symmetry of Ggt growth was not affected by the proximity of theBrassica tissue. Volatile breakdown products from maceratedBrassica roots were identified using a gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer. The major compounds found were isothiocyanates (ITCs). Canola roots released mostly methyl ITC and Indian mustard roots released mostly phenylethyl ITC. Low concentrations of these and related compounds inhibited growth of Ggt in pure culture when supplied as the vapour of pure chemicals in concentrations within the range expected during breakdown ofBrassica roots in soil.

Key words

canola glucosinolates Indian mustard take-all wheat 

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. F. Angus
    • 1
  • P. A. Gardner
    • 1
  • J. A. Kirkegaard
    • 1
  • J. M. Desmarchelier
    • 2
  1. 1.CSIRO Division of Plant IndustryCanberraAustralia
  2. 2.CSIRO Division of EntomologyCanberraAustralia

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