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Resistance to Bacterial Spot in Bell Pepper Induced by Acibenzolar-S-Methyl

February 2001 , Volume 85 , Number  2
Pages  189 - 194

A. M. Romero , C. S. Kousik , and D. F. Ritchie , Department of Plant Pathology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh 27695-7616

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Accepted for publication 25 October 2000.

Bell pepper plants sprayed with the chemical acibenzolar-S-methyl (ABM, Actigard 50 WG) showed resistance to subsequent infections with the bacterial spot agent Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. vesicatoria. Induction of resistance was independent of the cultivar used, and was expressed as early as 3 days after treatment and continued for at least 2 weeks. In the field, applications of ABM every 2 weeks, alone or in combination with copper, resulted in disease control similar to the standard treatment of copper plus maneb. Yield response was variable, with certain combinations of chemical treatments and cultivars producing yields as large as the copper plus maneb treatment. In contrast, weekly applications during the entire crop season had a negative impact on yield. In plots maintained free of bacterial spot, applications of ABM every 2 weeks caused a reduction in yield for one cultivar of six tested. The use of chemical inducers for the control of bacterial spot on bell pepper, while generally promising, may result in an unpredictable loss in fruit yield.

© 2001 The American Phytopathological Society