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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2013

Influence of micronutrients on the biological control of Pythium ultimum in a closed soilless system

Khalil, Sammar; Olsson, Ola


The effects of micronutrients in the nutrient solution and its interaction with the commercial biocontrol product Binab T against the root pathogen Pythium ultimum were studied in order to identify supporting factors to increase the efficiency and decrease the inconsistency of biocontrol agents in closed cultivation systems. The micronutrients were used as an approach to create a favourable environment to biocontrol by Binab T. This was based on the facts that different kind of metals including micronutrients has been used as a tool for disease management. Using a substrate-based growing system, Binab T with the active strains Trichoderma polysporum plus T. harzianum was evaluated at two different levels of zinc (5.0 µM and 10.0 µM) or of copper (0.75 µM and 1.5 µM) over seven weeks in a controlled climate chamber environment, using tomato as the model plant. The amount of biocontrol agent needed was found to increase with increased zinc level as well as at low copper level in the presence of the pathogen. In general this amount was lower at both copper levels compared with zinc. Addition of the biocontrol agent to the cultivation system caused a reduction in the level and incidence of pathogen attack at both zinc levels and also at low copper level. The biocontrol activity of Binab T against the root pathogen Pythium ultimum, indicated by the production of the cell wall-degrading enzymes cellulose and glucanase, increased with increasing zinc level in the presence of Binab T, with or without the pathogen being present. Increased zinc level in the presence of Binab T, in or without the presence of the pathogen also had a positive effect on plant growth. The same was indicated at low copper level.

Published in

Canadian Journal of plant protection
2013, Volume: 1, number: 4, article number: 4

      SLU Authors

    • Khalil, Samar

      • Horticulture, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Other Agricultural Sciences not elsewhere specified

    Permanent link to this page (URI)