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Effective concentration of phosphite in controlling Phytophthora cinnamomi following stem injection of Banksia species and Eucalyptus marginata

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Abstract:

Summary

The effect of phosphite concentration on lesion development by Phytophthora cinnamomi in stems and roots of Banksia grandis and Eucalyptus marginata and in stems of Banksia coccinea was assessed during a 4.3 year period after stem injection of phosphite. Lesion length 6 weeks after inoculation was significantly less in roots of B. grandis trees that had been stem injected with three concentrations of phosphite (50, 100 and 200 g phosphite/l) at two rates (1 and 2 ml/cm of stem circumference) compared with the not-injected control. With the exception of B. grandis trees injected with 50 g phosphite/l, lesion length for the high rate was not significantly different to the low rate. In roots of E. marginata, lesion development in response to phosphite was different to that in roots of B. grandis; lesion length in roots did not differ significantly between phosphite concentration and rate. Lesion length and girdling in stems of B. grandis and E. marginata was significantly less in those injected with phosphite than in not injected stems. One year after injection, callus tissue had contained lesions in stems injected with phosphite. By 4.3 years after injection of both hosts there was a steep significant negative linear relationship between phosphite concentration and either lesion length or girdling, with greatest lesion development in not injected stems and least in stems injected with 100 g phosphite/l. Recovery of P. cinnamomi from lesion margins 1 year after injection, was significantly less in trees injected with phosphite than in not injected trees. The amount of plant death reflected containment of lesion extension and girdling, and reduction of recovery of P. cinnamomi with phosphite concentration; 4.3 year after injection there was a steep significant negative linear relationship between phosphite concentration and percentage of plant death. In contrast to B. grandis and E. marginata, there was a U-shaped non-linear relationship between phosphite concentration and effectiveness of phosphite in controlling lesion extension and girdling in B. coccinea. Containment of lesion extension and girdling with time was greatest for B. coccinea stems injected with 25 g phosphite/l, least for stems not injected, and intermediate in stems injected with 50 and 100 g phosphite/l. As in B. grandis and E. marginata, containment of lesion extension and girdling in B. coccinea with phosphite concentration was reflected in the amount of plant death. The non-linear response to phosphite of some plant species indicated that injected concentration for B. coccinea should not exceed 50 g phosphite/l, whereas injected concentrations of up to 100 g phosphite/l could be recommended for B. grandis. Longevity of action of phosphite for 4–5 years in native plant species after one injection makes phosphite injection a practical control option for the control of P. cinnamomi disease front extension and the protection of threatened flora. Research into the effect of factors affecting longevity of action of phosphite would facilitate optimization of timing of injection.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1439-0329.2006.00440.x

Affiliations: 1: Science Division, Department of Conservation and Land Management, Locked Bag 104, Bentley Delivery Centre, Western Australia 6983., Email: bryans@calm.wa.gov.au 2: South Coast Region, Department of Conservation and Land Management, Albany, Western Australia

Publication date: April 1, 2006

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