Botta, A1, Sierras, N1, Marin, C1, Carrion, M1 and Pinol, R1
1R&D Department, Plant Physiology Division, Bioiberica, SA Pol Ind.
Mas Puigvert. Ctra. N-II, Km 680.6, 08389 Palafolls, Barcelona, Spain
Powdery mildew type fungi are among the most persistent and common diseases limiting production of a wide range of crops worldwide. In addition to direct damage caused by the pathogen, fungal disease also weakens the plant's resistance to any biotic or abiotic stress factor. With this in mind, the R&D Department of Bioiberica, SA, focused on plant stress management to develop a new foliar spray product containing amino acids plus soluble active silicon (Si).
This approach combines the well-known beneficial properties of both components: the biostimulant effect of amino acids, which helps plants to rapidly overcome physiological stress, and the effect of Si on the plant's resistance to fungal infections. Two modes of action have been reported to elucidate the Si effect: a structural reinforcement function due to its deposition underneath the plant cell wall and, more recently, the role of soluble Si as an inducer of plant defense responses.
Regardless of these mechanisms acting in an independent or complementary way, alternative plant disease protection treatments have recently aroused more interest due to limitations on the use of pesticides and environmental concerns. This study sums up the results of several new product trials in different plant-pathogen systems.
Findings confirm a synergic effect of amino acids plus Si on a reduction in the incidence and severity of powdery mildew in different plant species of agricultural interest, such as fruit trees and horticultural crops. The use of this new double-action product permits a reduction in the number of fungicide applications while improving health and yield parameters in sustainable crop management.
Keywords: silicon, biostimulant, stress, powdery mildew