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Ed Peachey, Robin L. Ludy, Mary L. Powelson, and Daniel M. McGrath

Field studies were conducted in 1999 and 2001 in western Oregon to determine the effect of between-row spacing on severity of white mold (Sclerotinia sclerotiorum) in snap beans. Planting density was held constant at 445,000 plants ha–1 and between-row spacing ranged from 19 to 150 cm. Disease severity and pod rot were greatest in both years of study at the 19-cm between-row spacing and declined linearly as between-row widths increased. Severity of disease in 1999 was 24%, 41%, and 88% lower at the 38-, 75-, and 150-cm between-row spacings, respectively, than at the 19-cm row spacing. In 2001, disease severity was 11%, 25%, 34%, and 51% less at the between-row widths of 38, 75, 114, and 150 cm, respectively, than at the 19-cm row spacing. Incidence of pod rot declined by 0.24% and 0.64% for each 10-cm increase in between-row width in 1999 and 2001, respectively. The fungicide vinclozolin effectively suppressed pod rot in both years at all between-row spacings. Pod yield was not influenced by between-row spacings of 19 to 114 cm, but yield was significantly lower at the between-row spacings of 150 cm. Increasing the between-row width of snap bean rows may be an effective disease management tactic to suppress white mold when fungicides are not applied or if efficacious fungicides are not available.

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Muhammad Imran Al-Haq, Y. Seo, S. Oshita, and Y. Kawagoe

The fungicidal effectiveness of electrolyzed oxidizing (EO) water on peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch.] fruit was studied. Fruit were inoculated with a spore suspension of 5 × 105 conidia/mL of Monilinia fructicola [(G. Wint.) Honey] applied as a drop on wounded and nonwounded fruits, or by a uniform spray-mist on nonwounded fruits. Fruit were immersed in tap water at 26 °C for 5 or 10 minutes (control), or treated with EO water varying in oxidation-reduction potential (ORP), pH, and free available chlorine (FAC). Following treatment, fruit were held at 20 °C and 95% relative humidity for 10 days to simulate retail conditions. Disease incidence was determined as the percentage of fruits showing symptoms of the disease, while severity was expressed as lesion diameter. EO water did not control brown rot in wound-inoculated fruits, but reduced disease incidence and severity in nonwound-inoculated peach. Symptoms of brown rot were further delayed in fruit inoculated by a uniform-spray mist compared with the nonwounded-drop-inoculated peaches. Fruit treated with EO water held for 8 days at 2 °C, 50% RH, did not develop brown rot, until they were transferred to 20 °C, 95% RH. The lowest disease incidence and severity occurred in fruit immersed in EO water for up to 5 minutes. EO water having pH 4.0, ORP 1,100 mV, FAC 290 mg·L-1 delayed the onset of brown rot to 7 days, i.e., about the period peach stays in the market from a packing house to consumer. No chlorine-induced phytotoxicity was observed on the treated fruit. This study revealed that EO water is an effective surface sanitizer, but only delayed disease development.

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D.M. Benson

Control of preemergence damping-off caused by Phytophthora parasitica Dastur was investigated on three bedding plant species in a 1 peat: 1 vermiculite medium (v/v) limed at 3 kg·m–3 and drenched with aluminum at 10, 25, or 50 meq Al/100 cm3 medium. Aluminum as Al2(SO4)3 was applied as a drench at 0.75, 1.9, or 3.75 g/150 ml water to the surface of infested medium in 650-cm2 plug trays (1300-cm3 tray volume). All concentrations of aluminum were effective in controlling preemergence damping-off of snapdragon (Antirrhinum majus L.) and vinca (Catharanthus roseus G. Don, Madagascar periwinkle), but only 50 meq Al+3/100 cm3 medium was effective for petunia (Petunia ×hybrida Hort. Vilm.-Andr.). At 4 days after seeding and drenching with aluminum sulfate, exchangeable aluminum was 0, 0.5, and 2.03 meq Al+3/100 g medium, respectively, for the three concentrations used. Control of damping-off of snapdragon and vinca with 10 meq Al+3/100 cm3 medium with no detectable exchangeable aluminum 4 days after application suggests that P. parasitica was suppressed by aluminum early in the host–pathogen interaction, whereas petunia was susceptible to damping-off for a longer period before seedling emergence. Aluminum was not phytotoxic to vinca, snapdragon, or petunia grown in a limed medium.

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Gladis M. Zinati

The discovery of disease suppression in certain bark composts increased the interest in using compost as growing substrate to control root rot diseases caused by Phytophthora cinnamomi. Disease suppression mechanisms include antibiosis, competition, hyperparasitism, and induced systemic resistance. Although abiotic factors may influence disease suppression, the latter is often based on microbial interactions—the two common mechanisms being general for pythium (Pythium spp.) and phytophthora root rot (Phytophthora spp.) and specific for rhizoctonia (Rhizoctonia solani). The discovery of disease suppression agents in compost led to the development of biocontrol agent-fortified compost during the last decade of the 20th century. The suggested recommendations for future research and extension outreach may include 1) development of methods to manage bacterial and viral diseases through the use of compost; 2) exploration of the potential effects of fortified compost on insect pests suppression; 3) improvement of inoculation methods of composts with biocontrol agents to produce consistent levels of disease suppression at the commercial scale; 4) development of effective fortified compost teas for suppressing foliar diseases; 5) education of compost producers on methods of production of fortified compost that suppress specific diseases; and 6) education of end-users on uses of fortified compost and its by-products.

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Gene Miyao, R.M. Davis, and P.A. Mauk

Bacterial speck caused by Pseudomonas syringae pv tomato is a major springtime disease of tomato during rainy weather conditions in California. Application timing as a calendar spray was compared to pre-anticipated rainfall treatments of either cupric hydroxide alone or in a combined tank-mix with mancozeb. Plots were established in grower fields with natural infestations. In some instances, moderately severe infestations of speck caused as much as a 25% reduction in yield and slight delays in fruit maturity. Timing of treatments prior to rainfall was superior to calendar sprays. Slight improvement in disease suppression was achieved with a tank mix of mancozeb with copper compared to copper alone.

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Charles S. Vavrina, Pamela D. Roberts, Nancy Kokalis-Burelle, and Esa O. Ontermaa

Six greenhouse trials of five commercial products marketed as systemic resistance (SR) and plant growth promotion (PGP) inducers were evaluated on tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) over a 21-month period. The effect of the inducers on treated plants was measured by monitoring plant growth and disease suppression after inoculation with either plant pathogenic bacteria or nematodes. The commercially available SR/PGP inducers included a bacterial suspension [Companion (Bacillus subtilis GB03)], two plant defense elicitors with nutrients (Keyplex 350DP plus Nutri-Phite, and Rezist with Cab'y), natural plant extracts (Liquid Seaweed Concentrate and Stimplex), and a synthetic growth regulator (Actigard 50W). Growth enhancement was noted in some trials, but the parameter of growth affected often varied with trial. Response to Actigard treatment included significant suppression of bacterial spot [Xanthomonas campestris pv. vesicatoria (Xcv)] in three of the six trials. Companion, Keyplex 350DP plus Nutri-Phite, Rezist and Cab'y, and seaweed products induced only partial disease suppression of bacterial spot in inoculated tomato plants. The alpha-keto acids plus nutrients (Keyplex 350DP plus Nutri-Phite) increased plant growth by 14.3% and improved root condition compared to the untreated control following exposure to nematodes. Results are encouraging, if not consistent, and with a greater understanding of the SR system and the conditions related to product efficacy, such materials may become effective tools for production agriculture.

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P. R. Johnstone, T. K. Hartz, E. M. Miyao, and R. M. Davis

Mustard cover crop residue has been reported to have a “biofumigant” action when incorporated into the soil, potentially providing significant disease suppression and yield improvement for the succeeding crop. Such activity could be particularly useful in processing tomato rotations, where consecutive cropping invariably results in yield decline. Agronomic and environmental effects of growing over-winter mustard cover crops preceding tomato production were investigated in three field trials between 2002 and 2004. Two mustard cover crops [`Pacific Gold', a brown mustard (Brassica juncea), and `Caliente', a blend of brown and white mustard (Sinapis alba)] were compared to a legume cover crop mix, a fallow bed treatment (the standard grower practice in this region), and, in two of the three trials, a fumigation treatment using metam sodium. No suppression of soil populations of Verticillium dahliae or Fusarium spp. was observed with the mustard cover crops, nor was there any visual evidence of disease suppression on subsequent tomato crops. In these fields, the mustard either had no effect, or reduced tomato yield, when compared to the fallow treatment. At one of two sites, metam sodium fumigation significantly increased tomato yield. The presence of a cover crop, whether mustard or legume, reduced winter runoff by an average of 50% over two years of trials. No benefit of mustard cover cropping beyond this reduction in winter runoff was observed.

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T.K. Hartz, P.R. Johnstone, E.M. Miyao, and R.M. Davis

Mustard (Brassica spp.) cover crop residue has been reported to have significant `biofumigant' action when incorporated into soil, potentially providing disease suppression and yield improvement for the succeeding crop. The effects of growing over-winter mustard cover crops preceding processing tomato (Lycopersicon escultentum Mill.) production were investigated in six field trials in the Sacramento Valley of California from 2002–04. A selection of mustard cover crops were compared to a legume cover crop mix, a fallow-bed treatment (the current grower practice in the region), and in two of the six trials, fumigation treatments using metam sodium. Mustard cover crops removed 115 to 350 kg·ha–1 N from the soil profile, reducing NO3-N leaching potential. Soil populations of Verticillium dahliae Kleb. and Fusarium spp. were unaffected by the cover crops, and there was no evidence of soilborne disease suppression on subsequent tomato crops. Mustard cover crops increased tomato yield in one field, and reduced yield in two fields. In one of two fields, metam sodium fumigation significantly increased tomato yield. We conclude that, while environmental benefits may be achieved, mustard cover cropping offers no immediate agronomic benefit for processing tomato production.

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F. Iriarte, J. Fry, and N. Tisserat

Bermudagrass turf quality is commonly reduced in the transition zone by Ophiosphaerella herpotricha, a root-infecting fungus that causes spring dead spot (SDS). Fungicides applied in autumn typically result in poor to moderate disease suppression. Earlier research has indicated that some cultural practices, including core aerification or fertilization with soil acidifying nitrogen fertilizers, may suppress SDS. Our objective was to evaluate several treatment combinations for reducing disease severity. Treatments were arranged in a split-plot design, with whole plots being aerification + verticutting, or no cultivation. Subplots within whole plots consisted of a factorial arrangement of azoxystrobin (one September application of at 0.6 kg·ha-1), trinexapac-ethyl (three summer applications at 6.1 kg·ha-1), and ammonium sulfate (three summer applications with N at 49 kg·ha-1). After 1 year of treatment, spring turf quality was improved in all treatments that included trinexapac-ethyl. Diseased area was reduced from 34% to 21% in plots receiving azoxystrobin + trinexapac-ethyl.

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Jae H. Han, George L. Good, Eric B. Nelson, and Harold M. Van Es

Composted municipal biosolids were incorporated into a potting mix containing sphagnum peat and sand (1:1 by volume) at rates of 0%, 25%, and 50%, by volume. A second medium was prepared by mixing cow manure compost in the same basic mix at rates of 0%, 10%, and 25% by volume. Each mix was inoculated with P. cinnamomi colonized millet seed at a rate of 200/200 cc of compost-amended media. The potted plants were placed outdoors under nursery conditions 14 July 2003. One half of the plants were irrigated every day, except when natural precipitation occurred; the other half was watered once each week. Soil water potential of all treatments was measured daily with tensiometers. Plants were harvested on 18 Aug. and 21 Oct. 2003, when the experiment was terminated. Frequent rainfall during the period prior to the first harvest masked any impact that the irrigation treatments may have had on disease suppression. Even so, three compost treatments proved successful in suppressing disease activity. Between the first and second harvest dates rainfall was significantly less frequent; thus, differences in P. cinnamomi activity between the wet and dry regimes was noted at the 21 Oct. harvest. Under the dry regime, all inoculated compost treatments, except the 25% municipal biosolid compost, exhibited disease suppression based on root symptom severity and percentage of root infection. Suppression based on shoot symptoms and percentage of shoot loss was evident only in the 50% and 25% biosolid and cow manure composts, respectively. Under the wet regime, only one treatment exhibited suppression of disease activity. All compost treatments held more water particularly at lower moisture tensions. The presence of more water would tend to favor more disease activity and not suppression.