Review of the use of inorganic salts as fungicides

Summary of the main findings of a literature survey into safe and sustainable methods of plant disease management; also focuses on fungal pathogens that affect crops grown in the UK.

Year of Publication2009

Despite health concerns about fungicide residues in food products and the environment and the development of pathogen resistance to several fungicide groups, chemical control still remains the most commonly employed method to manage crop fungal diseases in the UK. There is, however, increasing pressure to develop more sustainable and safer alternative methods in plant disease management. A literature survey has revealed that a promising alternative approach to reduce the incidence and severity of certain fungal pathogens can be spray or hydroponic applications of inorganic salts. The present paper summarises the main findings of this survey and focuses on fungal pathogens that affect crops grown in the UK. Examples of salts with antifungal properties are given in each of five groups; bicarbonates, phosphates, silicates, phosphites and chlorides. Finally, based on criteria such as weight of published evidence and availability of commercial products, the target diseases powdery mildew of cucurbits, powdery mildew and septoria leaf blotch of wheat and potat late blight are identified for future research in the UK.

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Additional keywords/tags

integrated disease managementfungicidesinorganic saltsbiopesticidesfungi
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