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Influence of sub- vs top-irrigation and surfactants in a recirculating cultural system on disease incidence caused by Phytophthora and Pythium in potted plants



Influence of sub- vs top-irrigation and surfactants in a recirculating cultural system on disease incidence caused by Phytophthora and Pythium in potted plants



Phytopathology 91(6 Suppl.): S188



Zoospores of Phytophthora capsici and Pythium aphanidermatum were shown to spread, respectively, from inoculated source plants to healthy potted pepper and poinsettia plants located on separate ebb-and-flow benches solely via the recycled nutrient solution, which originated from a common reservoir. Amending the recirculating nutrient solution with a surfactant, which selectively kills zoospores, resulted in 100% control of the spread of these root pathogens from inoculated source plants in both ebb-and-flow and top-irrigated cultivation systems. In the absence of a surfactant in the recirculating nutrient solution, all plants in an ebb-and-flow sub-irrigation system died within 6 to 7 weeks. In contrast, all plants in a top-irrigated system died within 2 weeks. These latter results indicate that the use of recycled irrigation water in an ebb-and-flow cultural system is less conducive to pathogen spread than in a top-irrigated (i.e., drip) cultural system.

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