Department of Plant Pathology, University of Florida, Gainesville 32611
Plant Pathology Department, North Florida Research and Education Center, University of Florida, Quincy 32351
Department of Plant Pathology, University of Florida, Gainesville
Horticultural Sciences Department, North Florida Research and Education Center, University of Florida, Quincy
Various combinations of the harpin protein, acibenzolar-S-methyl, and bacteriophages were compared for controlling tomato bacterial spot in field experiments. Harpin protein and aciben-zolar-S-methyl were applied every 14 days beginning twice before transplanting and then an additional four applications throughout the season. Formulated bacteriophages were applied prior to inoculation followed by twice a week at dusk. A standard bactericide treatment, consisting of copper hydroxide plus mancozeb, was applied once prior to inoculation and then every 7 days, while untreated plants served as an untreated control. Experiments were conducted in north and central Florida fields during fall 2001, spring 2002, and fall 2002. In three consecutive seasons, acibenzolar-S-methyl applied in combination with bacteriophage or bacteriophage and harpin significantly reduced bacterial spot compared with the other treatments. However, it did not significantly affect the total yield compared with the standard or untreated control. Application of host-specific bacteriophages was effective against the bacterial spot pathogen in all three experiments, providing better disease control than copper-mancozeb or untreated control. When results of the disease severity assessments or harvested yield from the bacteriophage-treated plots were grouped and compared with the results of the corresponding nonbacteriophage group, the former provided significantly better disease control and yield of total marketable fruit.