Control of seed-borne pathogens on legumes by microbial and other alternative seed treatments
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Greenhouse trials were carried out in order to test the efficacy of different seed treatments as alternatives to chemicals against Colletotrichum lindemuthianum cause of anthracnose on bean and Ascochyta spp. cause of Ascochyta blights on pea, respectively. Resistance inducers, commercially formulated microorganisms, non-formulated selected strains of different microorganisms (fungi, bacteria and yeasts) and plant extracts were applied as dry or liquid seed treatments on naturally infested seeds. Seedling emergence and disease incidence and/or severity were recorded. Almost all seed treatments turned out to be ineffective in controlling the Ascochyta infections, which is in line with the literature stating that these pathogens are difficult to control. The only alternative treatments that gave some control of Ascochyta spp. were thyme oil and a strain of Clonostachys rosea. The resistance inducers tested successfully controlled infections of bean by C. lindemuthianum. Among the formulated microorganisms, Bacillus subtilis-based formulations provided the best protection from anthracnose. Some strains of Pseudomonas putida, a disease-suppressive, saprophytic strain of Fusarium oxysporum and the mustard powder-based product Tillecur also proved to be effective against bean anthracnose. However, among the resistance inducers as well as among the other groups, certain agents caused a significant reduction of plant emergence. Different alternative seed treatments can therefore be used for the control of C. lindemuthianum on bean, while on pea only thyme oil and a strain of Clonostachys rosea showed some effectiveness against Ascochyta spp.
KeywordsBiocontrol agents Plant extracts Colletotrichum lindemuthianum Ascochyta spp. Integrated pest management Organic farming
This work was supported by a grant from European Union in the frame of project ‘Seed Treatments for Organic Vegetable Production’ (STOVE), contract number QLK5-CT-2002-02239. The authors are grateful to Guido Martano and Incoronata Luongo for the technical support offered during the trials, to Jean Griffin for language editing and to Dr. Alexander Idnurm at the University of Missouri—Kansas City, USA for providing protocols that enabled the ITS amplification and sequencing.
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