Evaluation of fungicides to protect pruning wounds from Botryosphaeriaceae species infections on almond trees
In vitro efficacy of ten fungicides was evaluated against four Botryosphaeriaceae spp. (Diplodia seriata, Neofusicoccum luteum, N. mediterraneum and N. parvum) associated with branch cankers on almond trees. Cyproconazole, pyraclostrobin, tebuconazole, and thiophanate-methyl were effective for the inhibition of mycelial growth of most of these fungi. An experiment on 3-year-old almond trees evaluated boscalid, mancozeb, thiophanate-methyl, pyraclostrobin and tebuconazole for preventative ability against infections caused by the four pathogens. Five months after pruning and fungicide application, lesion length measurements and isolation percentages showed no significant differences among the four pathogens after they were inoculated onto the trees, and also between the two inoculation times tested (1 or 7 d after fungicide application). Thiophanate-methyl was the most effective fungicide, resulting in the shortest lesion lengths and the lowest isolation percentages from artificially inoculated pruning wounds. This chemical is therefore a candidate for inclusion in integrated disease management, to protect pruning wounds from infections caused by species of Botryosphaeriaceae. This study represents the first approach to development of chemical control strategies for the management of canker diseases caused by Botryosphaeriaceae fungi on almond trees.
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