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Differences in Etiology Affect Mefenoxam Efficacy and the Control of Pink Rot and Leak Tuber Diseases of Potato

March 2004 , Volume 88 , Number  3
Pages  301 - 307

Raymond J. Taylor , Bacilio Salas , and Neil C. Gudmestad , Department of Plant Pathology, North Dakota State University, Fargo 58105

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Accepted for publication 18 November 2003.

Data supplementing a previously published survey of North American isolates of Phytophthora erythroseptica and Pythium ultimum demonstrated that the proportion of the populations sensitive to mefenoxam remains high, 79.6 and 96.9% with EC50 sensitivities ranging from <0.01 to 0.9 µg ml-1 and <0.01 to 0.8 µg ml-1, respectively. Mefenoxam should provide control of these pathogens in most potato production areas. Factors affecting the development of pink rot and leak in potato tubers and the efficacy of mefenoxam to control these diseases with different etiologies were examined. Results confirmed that P. erythroseptica is capable of directly infecting potato tubers causing pink rot, whereas Pythium ultimum requires a wound to infect and cause leak. Mefenoxam was applied to replicated field plots as a single in-furrow application at planting, as an in-furrow application at planting followed by an additional sidedress application 3 weeks after planting, as a single foliar application when tubers were 7 to 8 mm in diameter, and as two foliar applications when the tubers were 7 to 8 mm in diameter and 14 days later. The recommended label rate plus two additional lower application rates were used with each method. For tubers challenge-inoculated after harvest, mefenoxam was found to be more effective in controlling pink rot relative to leak over all application methods. The greatest level of pink rot control (89%) was attained with the in-furrow at planting and sidedress application. All rates tested provided similar levels of control with this application method, but this method provided only a modest level of leak control (35%), and leak was not controlled by foliar applications of mefenoxam at any rate tested. In contrast, the foliar applications of mefenoxam resulted in 10 to 50% control of pink rot. Since the isolates of both pathogens were highly sensitive to me-fenoxam, disease-specific control was attributed to differences in disease etiology. Therefore, the use of mefenoxam to control pink rot in the field and storage appears to be well founded.

Additional keywords: metalaxyl, Ridomil Gold EC, Solanum tuberosum, Ultra Flourish EC, water rot

© 2004 The American Phytopathological Society