Controlling Powdery Mildew of Greenhouse Roses Using Quartenary Benzophenanthridine Alkaloids

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  • 1 1Dept. of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, CO 80523-1173
  • | 2 2Camas Technologies, Inc., 4325 State Highway 66, Longmont, CO 80504

There are many naturally occurring substances that have the potential to be adapted to modern pest control chemistry. Azadirachtin, an insect growth regulator, is one such naturally occurring compound that has been widely accepted in insect pest management. Quartenary benzophenanthridine alkaloids (QBAs) are known to be effective in the control of crop damaging fungal diseases. QBAs can be isolated from plants in the Papaveraceae. Extracts of Macleaya cordata, a species rich in QBAs, were formulated at 150 mg·L–1 QBA for spray application to greenhouse roses infected with Sphaerotheca pannosa var. rosae (powdery mildew). The QBA formulation was applied at 10-day intervals. Copper sulfate pentahydrate (Phyton27), piperalin (Pipron), and fenarimol (Rubigan) were also applied to mildew infected plants within the same greenhouse at their respective label rates for comparison. One day after treatment, the mildew infection was reduced 50% by QBA, whereas fenarimol, copper sulfate pentahydrate, and piperalin reduced the infection 50%, 75%, and 80%, respectively. Nine days after application, the mildew infection of QBA treated plants was less than 5% of the leaflet surface area. QBAs have the potential to be developed as a biorational fungicide for greenhouse use with both fungicidal and fungistatic activity.