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Nonpathogenic Binucleate Rhizoctonia spp. and Benzothiadiazole Protect Cotton Seedlings Against Rhizoctonia Damping-Off and Alternaria Leaf Spot in Cotton

September 2005 , Volume 95 , Number  9
Pages  1,030 - 1,036

Suha Jabaji-Hare and Stephen M. Neate

First author: Plant Science Department, Macdonald Campus of McGill University, 21,111 Lakeshore Rd., Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, Quebec, H9X 3V9 Canada; and second author: Department of Plant Pathology, North Dakota State University, P.O. Box 5012, Fargo 58105

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Accepted for publication 18 April 2005.

Recent reports have shown induction of resistance to Rhizoctonia root rot using nonpathogenic strains of binucleate Rhizoctonia spp. (np-BNR). This study evaluates the biocontrol ability of several np-BNR isolates against root and foliar diseases of cotton in greenhouse trials, provides evidence for induced systemic resistance (ISR) as a mechanism in this biocontrol, and compares the disease control provided by np-BNR with that provided by the chemical inducer benzothiadiazole (BTH). Pretreatment of cotton seedlings with np-BNR isolates provided good protection against pre- and post-emergence damping-off caused by a virulent strain of Rhizoctonia solani (AG-4). Seedling stand of protected cotton was significantly higher (P < 0.05) than that of nonprotected seedlings. Several np-BNR isolates significantly reduced disease severity. The combination of BTH and np-BNR provided significant protection against seedling rot and leaf spot in cotton; however, the degree of disease reduction was comparable to that obtained with np-BNR treatment alone. Significant reduction in leaf spot symptoms caused by Alternaria macrospora occurred on cotyledons pretreated with np-BNR or sprayed with BTH, and the np- BNR-treated seedlings had significantly less leaf spot than BTH-treated seedlings. The results demonstrate that np-BNR isolates can protect cotton from infections caused by both root and leaf pathogens and that disease control was superior to that observed with a chemical inducer.

© 2005 The American Phytopathological Society