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Eradication of Plant Pathogens in Forest Nursery Irrigation Water

June 2013 , Volume 97 , Number  6
Pages  780 - 788

Patrícia da S. Machado, Acelino C. Alfenas, and Marcelo M. Coutinho, Plant Pathology Department; Cláudio M. Silva, Forest Engineering Department; Ann H. Mounteer, Civil Engineering Department; and Luiz A. Maffia, Rodrigo G. de Freitas, and Camila da S. Freitas, Plant Pathology Department, Federal University of Viçosa, Viçosa, MG, 36570-000, Brazil

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Accepted for publication 5 January 2013.

Interest in rational use and reuse of water has increased in recent years, especially in forest nurseries. However, before water can be reused in nurseries, it must be properly treated to eradicate plant pathogens to reduce risks of pathogen dispersal and losses to disease. In the present study, the efficacy of irrigation water treatment by ultrafiltration and conventional physical-chemical treatment was studied to eliminate Botrytis cinerea, Cylindrocladium candelabrum, Ralstonia solanacearum, and Xanthomonas axonopodis, the pathogens most commonly found in Brazilian forest nurseries. Ultrafiltration eradicated over 99% of R. solanacearum, X. axonopodis, and B. cinerea and 100% of C. candelabrum. The few remaining cells or conidia of R. solanacearum and B. cinerea did not induce disease in irrigated rooted cuttings. Flocculation and fast sand filtration used in physical-chemical treatment completely eliminated C. candelabrum but the other pathogens were only removed after chlorination of the filtered water. Both forms of treatment are viable, practical, and safe methods for plant pathogen removal from irrigation water.

© 2013 The American Phytopathological Society