U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service-CPRU, 2675 F&B Road, College Station, TX 77845
Good quality seeds of cotton cultivars often escaped pre-emergence damping-off incited by Pythium spp. and Rhizopus oryzae, and they were resistant to postemergence damping-off incited by Rhizoctonia solani. Poor quality seeds, however, were highly susceptible to both phases of seedling disease and required seed treatment in order to survive. Pre-emergence damping-off incited by Pythium spp. and Rhizopus oryzae could be controlled by seed treatment with biocontrol preparations of a number of Trichoderma spp., but these treatments were much less effective in controlling postemergence disease incited by Rhizoctonia solani. Postemergence seedling disease can be controlled by fungicides, but they were much less effective in controlling the pre-emergence phase of the disease. Combination seed treatments of poor quality cotton seeds with fungicides and Trichoderma spp. preparations, followed by planting in pathogen-infested soil, indicated that this technique will control both phases of seedling disease. Seed treatment with either the fungicides or the biocontrol agents alone did not achieve this goal. The optimum combination treatment for disease control was that of chloroneb plus Trichoderma spp., followed by chloroneb plus metalaxyl (Deltacoat AD) plus T. virens strain G-6.