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Control of late blight (Phytophthora infestans) on tomatoes using biologicals

Esther Gachango: AgBiome, LLC

<div>Management of tomato late blight, caused by <i>Phytophthora infestans </i>(Mont.) de Bary, has primarily been achieved through application of conventional fungicides. However, due to increase in resistant pathogen populations, agricultural biotechnology industry has aggressively pursued the discovery of biologicals for control of plant pathogens. At AgBiome, we discover microbial-based solutions for agriculture by leveraging a diverse and growing collection of fully sequenced microbes from the plant-soil microbiome. The microbial strains are screened in bioassays against a broad range of plant pathogens. Biological activity against <i>P. infestans</i> on tomato, cv. Money Maker, was assessed in the laboratory using detached leaf disk assay. <i>Phytophthora infestans,</i> genotype US-23, isolated from tomatoes in North Carolina was used. The leaf disks were treated by spraying the microbial strains onto the surface, followed by inoculation with <i>P. infestans</i> mycelial suspension after 24 h. Several microbial strains showed high activity against <i>P. infestans</i> and were tested twice to confirm the activity. The strains that maintained high level of activity were selected and will be tested for control of <i>Phytophthora capsici</i> and <i>P. infestans</i> in the greenhouse, followed by field evaluations in 2018.</div>