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Comparative Performance of Fungicides, Biofungicides, and Host Plant Defense Inducers in Suppression of Phytophthora Root Rot in Flowering Dogwood During Simulated Root Flooding Events

Brown, Matthew S., Baysal-Gurel, Fulya, Oliver, Jason B., Addesso, Karla M.
Plant disease 2019 v.103 no.7 pp. 1703-1711
Cornus florida subsp. florida, Phytophthora cinnamomi, biopesticides, crop losses, disease severity, fungicides, greenhouse experimentation, growers, host plants, plant growth, plant height, root rot, root systems, roots, seedlings, soil water, water content
During flooding events in nurseries, Phytophthora root rot caused by Phytophthora cinnamomi Rands often causes damage that leads to complete crop loss. In this study, we evaluated the efficacy of fungicides, biofungicides, and host plant defense inducers for preventive and curative control of Phytophthora root rot on flowering dogwood (Cornus florida L.) seedlings exposed to a simulated flood event of 1, 3, or 7 days. In two greenhouse trials, preventive (7 days before flooding) or curative (1 day after flooding) drench treatments were applied to dogwood seedlings artificially inoculated with P. cinnamomi. The plants were flooded by maintaining standing water for 1, 3, or 7 days. After the trials, plant growth data (total plant weight, root weight, plant height, and plant width) were recorded, and root systems were assessed for disease severity using a scale of 0 to 100% of roots affected, and subsamples were plated on PARPH-V8 medium to determine the percent recovery of the Phytophthora pathogen. Plants preventively treated with Subdue MAXX had reduced disease severity relative to the nontreated, inoculated plants (positive control) flooded 1, 3, or 7 days in both trials. Pageant Intrinsic and Segovis treatments also had lower disease severity than the positive control at all flooding durations in trial two, but not trial one. In trial one, preventive and curative treatments of Orkestra Intrinsic had reduced disease severity compared with the positive control at 1 and 3 days of flooding, whereas curative treatments of Empress Intrinsic and Tartan Stressgard also were effective at 1 and 3 days of flooding in trial one. The host plant defense inducers (Aliette 80 WDG, Signature Xtra, and Actigard) were inconsistent and ineffective at reducing disease severity when applied as preventive or curative treatments. Preventive treatments of the biofungicides RootShield Plus⁺ and MBI-110 had consistently lower disease severity than the positive control at 1 day of flooding but not 3 or 7 days of flooding. Potentially, growers can use information from this study to manage Phytophthora root rot during flooding or in areas of the nursery that often experience high soil moisture levels.