Journal of General Plant Pathology

, Volume 85, Issue 1, pp 57–65 | Cite as

Bionic fungicide physcion controls gray mold in tomato: possible modes of action

  • Libo Xiang
  • Minfeng Xue
  • Lijun Yang
  • Shuangjun GongEmail author
  • Dazhao Yu
Disease Control


In this investigation of the efficacy of the natural product physcion for the control of gray mold of tomato in the field and possible modes of action, physcion was significantly less effective in in vitro antifungal tests than synthetic fungicides pyrimethanil and boscalid. However, in greenhouse tests, physcion dramatically reduced the severity of gray mold on tomato plants. We further found elevated activity of several enzymes associated with the synthesis of phenolic compounds and plant defense reactions, including phenylalanine ammonia-lyase, peroxidase, and polyphenol oxidase. Physcion also significantly increased plant growth, indicating that it can also act as a growth promoter in tomato. The results from two consecutive years of field trials revealed that the application of physcion at a rate of 9 g a.i./ha reduced disease incidence between 63.44 and 69.79%, comparable to the fungicide pyrimethanil. Together, these results indicate that although physcion had little direct effect on the growth of B. cinerea, it increased tomato performance by stimulating an endogenous plant defense response and acting as a growth promoter. The study therefore provides strong evidence that physcion provides an alternative treatment for the management of gray mold in organic and low input tomato production and in traditional integrated pest management programs.


Gray mold Medicinal plant Physcion Plant growth promoter Induced resistance 



This research was supported by the Special Programme for Agricultural Research in China (201303016) and the Major Agricultural Extension Service Pilot Project of the Hubei Province Horticulture Industry and the Hubei Province Science and Technology Innovation Center (2011-620-003-3).

Compliance with ethical standards

Ethical standards

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© The Phytopathological Society of Japan and Springer Japan KK, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Libo Xiang
    • 1
  • Minfeng Xue
    • 1
  • Lijun Yang
    • 1
  • Shuangjun Gong
    • 1
    Email author
  • Dazhao Yu
    • 1
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Integrated Pest Management on Crop in Central China, Ministry of Agriculture, Hubei Key Laboratory of Crop Diseases, Insect Pests and Weeds ControlInstitute of Plant Protection and Soil Science, Hubei Academy of Agricultural SciencesWuhanChina

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