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The Efficacy of Semiselective Chemicals and Chloropicrin/1,3-Dichloropropene–Containing Fumigants in Managing Apple Replant Disease in South Africa

Nyoni, M., Mazzola, M., Wessels, J. P. B., McLeod, A.
Plant disease 2019 v.103 no.6 pp. 1363-1373
1,3-dichloropropene, DNA, Malus domestica, Phytophthora cactorum, Pratylenchus, Pythium, apples, chloropicrin, fenamiphos, fumigants, imidacloprid, metalaxyl, orchards, phosphonates, replant disease, roots, tree growth, trees, yields, South Africa
Apple replant disease (ARD) is a biological phenomenon that is encountered when old apple orchards are replanted, resulting in tree growth and yield reductions in young trees. Three ARD orchard trials were conducted, which showed that semiselective chemicals (fenamiphos, metalaxyl, imidacloprid, and phosphonates) used independently, two fumigant formulations (33.3% chloropicrin and 60.8% 1,3-dichloropropene [Pic33-1,3D] and 57.% chloropicrin and 38% 1,3 dichloropropene [Pic57-1,3D]), and semiselective chemicals combined with Pic33-1,3D or Pic57-1,3D all contributed to significant increases in tree growth (trunk diameter and shoot length) relative to the untreated control 3 to 4 years postplanting. The treatments did not differ significantly from each other in improving tree growth. Yield was more indicative of treatment efficacy, but this varied between the three orchards. The Pic33-1,3D fumigant in combination with semiselective chemistries was the most consistent in significantly increasing cumulative yields. The Pic57-1,3D treatment was superior in increasing yields relative to the Pic33-1,3D treatment, because (i) it significantly increased cumulative yields in comparison with the Pic33-1,3D treatment in one orchard and (ii) in another orchard, a significant increase in yield was obtained with Pic57-1,3D relative to the control treatment but not with the Pic33-1,3D treatment. The quantification of ARD causative agents 20 months postplant showed that Phytophthora cactorum contributed to disease development in all three orchards; significant negative correlations existed between the quantity of P. cactorum DNA detected in tree roots and tree growth and less often, yield. In two orchards, only some of the treatments that significantly reduced the quantity of P. cactorum DNA in tree roots relative to the control also resulted in a significant increase in tree growth. Some of the aforementioned trends were also evident for Pratylenchus spp. root densities in two of the orchards. There was a significant positive correlation between P. cactorum root DNA quantities and Pratylenchus spp. root densities. Pythium spp. and “Cylindrocarpon”-like DNA quantities detected in tree roots typically were not indicative of treatment efficacy. However, a significant positive correlation existed between these two pathogen groups, suggesting complex interactions not associated with pathogen quantities per se.