Potential of butyric acid for control of soil-borne fungal pathogens and nematodes affecting strawberries

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The effects of butyric acid were evaluated on fungal and nematode endo-parasites of strawberries under controlled laboratory conditions. Verticillium dahliae, Rhizoctonia fragariae, R. solani, Phytophthora fragariae, and a Pythium sp. were killed after a 2-d incubation in butryic acid-treated sand (0.88 and 8.8 mg g-1). No fungal growth occurred in the presence of vapors from 0.1 and 1 M butyric acid solutions. Gall formation on tomato roots by Meloidogyne hapla, and M. incognita was reduced by 73-100% relative to controls when egg masses were incubated in butyric acid solution (0.1, 1 M) or treated sand (0.88 and 8.8 mg g-1). Drenching strawberry plants infested with Pratylenchus penetrans with butyric acid (0.1 and 1 M) reduced nematode densities by 98-100%. These results suggest that butyric acid warrants further evaluation as an alternative to synthetic soil fumigants for control of nematodes and fungal pathogens in strawberry. © 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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Soil Biology and Biochemistry