Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Can The Right Potting Mix Replace Fungicide?

Date:
July 3, 2007
Source:
USDA/Agricultural Research Service
Summary:
Potting mixes custom-tailored to fight plant diseases can work much better than systemic fungicides. Agricultural Research Service (ARS) plant pathologists Leona Horst, James Locke and Charles Krause found this was true for a mix of peat, compost and the beneficial fungus Trichoderma hamatum strain 382.

A potting mix reduced Botrytis gray mold better than a fungicide. Botrytis gray mold is the most common disease of greenhouse flowering plants, from begonias to petunias.
Credit: Photo by James Locke

Potting mixes custom-tailored to fight plant diseases can work much better than systemic fungicides.

Agricultural Research Service (ARS) plant pathologists Leona Horst, James Locke and Charles Krause found this was true for a mix of peat, compost and the beneficial fungus Trichoderma hamatum strain 382. Horst and Krause are at the ARS Application Technology Research Unit in Wooster, Ohio. Locke is part of the unit's relatively new Greenhouse Production Research Group in Toledo, Ohio.

In a test with begonias, the scientists found that the mix reduced Botrytis gray mold, caused by the Botrytis cinerea fungus, better than the standard fungicide chlorothalonil did. Botrytis gray mold is the most common disease of greenhouse floral crops such as begonia, carnation, chrysanthemum, cyclamen, geranium, impatiens, petunia and marigold.

The beneficial Trichoderma fungus seems to enter the plants through the roots and spread through the entire plant internally. One advantage of systemic biocontrol—as opposed to spraying the plant leaves with a solution containing beneficial fungi—is that it doesn't leave a residue on the plant that harms plant market value.

Begonias grown in this mix had much fewer gray mold symptoms and much higher market value that those grown in straight peat and sprayed with chlorothalonil. The improvement in plant quality and market value makes the Trichoderma-compost mix very promising for greenhouse operations. Also, Botrytis has developed resistance to several fungicides.

The Trichoderma fungus thwarts Botrytis on more than one front. It prevents Botrytis from infecting fresh wounds, and produces compounds that keep Botrytis spores from germinating.

Surprisingly, the compost mix had a similar effect even without Trichoderma. This means there could be naturally occurring beneficial fungi or other biocontrol agents in the compost.

But, growers need to add beneficial fungi like Trichoderma to their mix, because they can't count on commercial composts to have them naturally.

ARS is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief scientific research agency.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by USDA/Agricultural Research Service. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Can The Right Potting Mix Replace Fungicide?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 July 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070628063211.htm>.
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. (2007, July 3). Can The Right Potting Mix Replace Fungicide?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070628063211.htm
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Can The Right Potting Mix Replace Fungicide?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070628063211.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Mich. Boy Unearths 10,000-Year-Old Mastodon Tooth

Mich. Boy Unearths 10,000-Year-Old Mastodon Tooth

Newsy (Apr. 20, 2014) A 9-year-old Michigan boy was exploring a creek when he came across a 10,000-year-old tooth from a prehistoric mastodon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home

Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) Dairy farmers and ethnic groups in Vermont are both benefiting from a unique collaborative effort that's feeding a growing need for fresh and affordable goat meat. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) Andy Dixon showed the Daily Mail a screenshot of what he believes to be the mythical beast swimming just below the lake's surface. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) Not only are these newly discovered bugs' sex organs reversed, but they also mate for up to 70 hours. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins