Researchers have found that biological protection against grapevine trunk disease has tremendous potential. Cooperative Extension Specialist and Plant Pathologist in the Department of Plant Pathology at UC Davis, Akif Eskalen has been looking at a variety of materials. Infection generally develops in the vines through pruning wounds. Trichoderma-based products as well as some beneficial bacteria products are proving to be effective in keeping the wounds safe from harmful pathogens.
“There are Trichoderma-based fungal species where they can colonize those pruning wounds faster to protect those pruning wounds from the other bad guys. The function of the Trichoderma-based is competition,” said Eskalen. “The beneficial bacteria works a little bit different than the Trichoderma-based fungal products…these bacteria also produce a secondary metabolite. They secrete chemicals that will inhibit or prevent the growth of the fungal pathogens.”
In the trials, the biological products appeared to offer prolonged protection compared to the conventional materials that were tested. Biological protection was also found to be more effective in most cases compared to known chemical means. But because of the differences in how the two biological approaches function, applying both would essentially cancel each other out.
“Our growers have to make a decision whether they would like to apply either Trichoderma-based products or a beneficial bacteria-based product,” Eskalen explained. “They shouldn’t apply both of them at the same time.”
Listen to the full episode with Akif Eskalen.
‘Making Sense of Biologicals’ is a series from AgNet West that dives into various topics with unbiased experts in the field of biologics to help the industry better understand the product category.
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