Efficacy of New Fungicides as Potential Management Tools for Phytophthora Crown and Root Rot on Pepper Plants
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AbstractPhytophthora blight of peppers (Capsicum annuum) is caused by the oomycete pathogen Phytophthora capsici. In Arizona, the root and crown rot phase of the disease initially can appear on plants early in the growing season in areas of the field where soil remains saturated with water after an irrigation or rainfall event. Disease severity can increase dramatically due to summer rains during July and August in the southeastern Arizona production area. Fungicides are an important component of a Phytophthora disease management system, when used in combination with other management practices such as crop rotation, raised beds, and water management. The efficacy of the systemic fungicide mefenoxam (Ridomil Gold) for control of Phytophthora blight on pepper has been documented; however, in many pepper production regions, populations of the pathogen insensitive to this fungicide have developed. Other chemistries, including dimethomorph (Acrobat) as well as some new fungicides in development, have activity on some species of Phytophthora and associated diseases on crops other than pepper. The objective of the following study was to evaluate these additional chemistries for efficacy in suppressing development of root and crown rot on pepper plants grown in soil naturally infested with Phytophthora capsici in a greenhouse environment. The mean duration of survival for Aristotle bell pepper plants in untreated soil infested with P. capsici was 29 days. On the other hand, a significant increase in pepper plant survival was achieved when soil was treated with Reason (fenamidone) + Previcur Flex (propamocarb), SA-110201, Ranman (cyazofamid), Omega (fluazinam), Ridomil Gold (mefenoxam), V-10161(fluopicolide), Forum (dimethomorph), NOA-446510 (mandipropamid), IR-6141 (kiralaxyl), and Maestro (captan). The data from this study suggest that several fungicides currently not registered for use on peppers may be effective components of a management program for Phytophthora crown and root rot. The data is promising; however, additional studies in field soil naturally infested with P. capsici are needed to confirm these preliminary findings as well as to determine the optimal application rate and timing for each new chemistry.