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Effect of Host Plant Resistance and Reduced Rates and Frequencies of Fungicide Application to Control Potato Late Blight

October 2001 , Volume 85 , Number  10
Pages  1,113 - 1,118

W. W. Kirk , Department of Plant Pathology ; K. J. Felcher , D. S. Douches , and J. Coombs , Department of Crop and Soil Sciences ; J. M. Stein , Department of Plant Pathology ; K. M. Baker , Department of Geography ; and R. Hammerschmidt , Department of Plant Pathology, Michigan State University, East Lansing 48824

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Accepted for publication 6 July 2001.

Field experiments were conducted during 1998 to 2000 to determine the response of commercial potato cultivars and advanced breeding lines (ABL) differing in susceptibility to foliar late blight (caused by Phytophthora infestans) to reduced rates and frequencies of residual, contact fungicide applications. When environmental conditions were most favorable for the development of late blight, the lowest application rate of the fungicides chlorothalonil or fluazinam (33% of the manufacturers' recommended application rate [MRAR]) gave unsatisfactory control of potato late blight. Under conditions moderately conducive for late blight development, effective control was achieved with 33 to 66% MRAR with either fungicide. The Michigan State University advanced selection, MSG274-3, was the least susceptible ABL tested and, during 1998 to 2000, late blight was effectively managed using reduced rates of fungicides. Application rates of chlorothalonil (33 to 100% MRAR) significantly reduced late blight in the cultivar Snowden (5-day application interval) compared with the nontreated control; whereas, late blight was not effectively controlled in Snowden even at 100% MRAR of chlorothalonil at either 10- or 15-day application intervals in 1999 or 2000. The ABL MSG274-3 was the least susceptible of all cultivars and ABL used in this study, and required minimal chemical protection against late blight. The study demonstrates that ABL with reduced susceptibility to late blight can be managed with reduced fungicide rates and longer application intervals, thus offering more economical control of this disease.

Additional keywords: advanced breeding lines, chlorothalonil, cultivar, fluazinam

© 2001 The American Phytopathological Society