During the past few years, the importance of Fusarium fungi and their toxins in wheat has increased significantly. This study demonstrated that fusaria can be controlled organically with medicinal plants: Suspensions of Galla chinensis and tannic acid inhibited spore germination and mycelial growth of Fusarium graminearum in vitro by 75 to 100 %. In climate chamber experiments with artificially infected «Apogee» wheat, treatments with tannic acid, G. chinensis (Chinese galls) and Rheum palmatum (Chinese rhubarb) reduced the deoxynivalenol (DON) content in grains by 67 to 81 %. Although the bark of alder buckthorn (Frangula alnus) showed no effect either in vitro or in the climate chamber, it reduced the DON content of two winter-wheat varieties by 60 % under field conditions. The good efficacy of tannic acid and G. chinensis can be explained by fungal toxicity, whereas that of F. alnus can be explained by resistance induction. This is the first time, that plant compounds proved to be a true alternative to synthetic fungicides for controlling Fusarium fungi in wheat.
Stucky T., Hochstrasser M., Meyer S., Segessemann T., Ruthes A. C., Ahrens C. H., Dahlin P., Pelludat C.
The root knot nematode (RKN) Meloidogyne incognita causes damage in field and greenhouse crops. Agroscope researchers have developed a new screening test to identify bacteria that antagonise this agricultural pest.
With CULTAN fertilisation, nitrogen is injected into the soil as an ammonium solution. Multi-year trials conducted by Agroscope show that this method reduces nitrogen leaching by an average 38% without negatively affecting yields.
Tuta absoluta is one of the most destructive pests of solanaceous crops. Agroscope has developed a statistical model to study the population dynamics of the pest and its parasitoids and allows interventions to be optimally planned.