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Management of strawberry grey mould using a mixture of biocontrol agents with different biocontrol mechanisms - PS2119

Botrytis is one of the most important diseases of strawberry (often called strawberry grey mould), reducing yield and quality, to which much of the fungicide programme is directed. Botrytis primarily causes a fruit rot both pre and post harvest and consequently often requires fungicidal control near harvest resulting in residues in the fruit. The fruit rot arises mainly from infection of flowers, developing fruits remaining symptomless until the fruit start to mature. However, despite these sprays, when weather conditions are warm and wet and favour Botrytis, control can still be poor.

Much effort has therefore been devoted to the development of biocontrol of grey mould, which is an important but often neglected part of an integrated pest or crop management system. Biocontrol methods can be applied to suppression or elimination of disease inoculum or as protectants to flowers and fruits. There are several commercial biological control products available in Europe, America and New Zealand for controlling Botrytis diseases in general. However, as with other biological control agents (BCAs) for foliar pathogens, disease control achieved with individual BCAs alone in the field is often inconsistent and generally much less effective than fungicides.

Use of mixtures of cultivars or fungicides has been successfully adopted in many crops to increase and maintain disease control efficacy when individual cultivars/fungicides may not be able to control disease effectively. However, the use of mixtures of BCAs to control foliar diseases has not been adequately investigated. In this project, we will investigate the potential of using mixed BCAs to control strawberry grey mould. We will first conduct experiments in laboratory and controlled environment conditions to compare several combinations of commercial BCA products against strawberry grey mould. Then we will select a few combinations of BCAs from these preliminary studies for further evaluations under field conditions. By the end of this project we may able to identify one or two combinations of BCAs for acceptable control of strawberry grey mould in commercial production.
1) To develop general experimental protocols for quantifying synergistic effects of mixed BCAs (by month 24)
2) To test and quantify synergistic effects of selected BCA products against strawberry grey mould on detached leaves when applied either simultaneously or sequentially (by Month 12)
3) To determine the biocontrol efficacy of selected BCA products under a range of environmental conditions using whole plants when applied either alone, or simultaneously or sequentially (by Month 24)
4) To study biocontrol efficacy of selected BCAs in field conditions when applied either simultaneously or sequentially as determined from laboratory and controlled environment conditions (by Month 36).
Project Documents
• Final Report : PS2119 final report sid5   (1696k)
• Final Report - Annex : Final report biocontrol Tables figures   (1696k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2007

To: 2010

Cost: £346,850
Contractor / Funded Organisations
East Malling Research
Allocated - EMR              
Biological Control              
Crop Diseases              
Disease Control              
Fungicide use              
Pest and Weed Control              
Plant diseases              
Plants and Animals              
Fields of Study
Pesticide Safety