Isothiocyanates are volatile chemicals produced by damaged tissues of Brassica species. Allyl isothiocyanate (AITC), the predominant isothiocyanate in Indian mustard (B. juncea), has been shown to control pest in laboratory and field experiments. We investigated the effectiveness of AITC against the germination of sclerotia of Sclerotium rolfsii Saccardo, a common soilborne pathogen of tomato. Sclerotium rolfsii was cultured on PDA from a field isolate. Mature sclerotia were collected and placed in polyester mesh bags. Culture tubes (16 × 150 mm) were packed with 18 g clay loam soil. A sclerotia-bag was placed in each tube and covered with an additional 5 g soil. Soil was maintained at 60% field capacity for the duration of the experiment. AITC was injected into each tube through a septum. Treatments consisted of 0, 5.6, 11.2, 22.4, and 44.8 μmol AITC/L of atmosphere and an ethanol control. AITC in each tube was sampled using SPME and analyzed on GC-MS. Tubes remained sealed for 42 h at 30 °C. Sclerotia were then removed from tubes and bags and plated on PDA to determine viability. Radial growth was measured to determine the effects of AITC. Mycelial growth was negatively correlated to AITC concentration (P < 0.01). The highest concentration of AITC resulted in a 40.3% reduction in mycelial growth. Although the AITC concentrations used in this study did not kill sclerotia of S. rolfsii, they did suppress mycelial growth from germinating sclerotia. At higher concentrations, or mixed with other chemicals, AITC may prove to be an affective control for this pathogen.
If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.