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Bioprotection against Damping-off

Damping-off is one of the fungal diseases with the greatest impact on plant production nurseries and seedbeds, although symptoms may appear in greenhouses or during transplanting in the field. Quite often affected seedbeds are destroyed or die shortly after transplanting.  The main pathogens associated with this disease are Fusarium, Pythium, Rhizoctonia and Phytophthora. Characteristic symptoms are non-germination of the seeds or once the plant produces the radicle it rots and in the seedling stage there is necrosis of the neck and root, wilting and finally death. (Agrios, 1997). Transmission of this disease Pythium spp. occurs via the soil and to a lesser extent via irrigation water. The pathogen swims through free water, thanks to the presence of flagellated zoospores, reaching the susceptible host and infecting it. On the other hand, the production of oospores (primary inoculum), allows the pathogen to remain in the soil in a latent state and produce disease in the following crop season (Gaya Karunasinghe, et al., 2020).  We find high levels of incidence of this disease when: the soil is kept wet for prolonged periods of time, temperatures favourable to the pathogen, excess nitrogen in the soil and lack of crop rotation (Agrios, 1997 and Lamichhane et al., 2016). Economic losses due to damping-offcan be divided into direct cost losses due to seed or seedling damage and indirect cost losses, which consist of the additional value of replanting and lower yields because of the delay of the crop due to staggered planting. (Babadoost and Islam 2003; Bacharis et al. 2010; Horst, 2013).  Chemical seed treatments represent one of the most frequent agricultural practices to control this disease. These treatments often have a high degree of efficacy, but can also negatively affect seed germination and cause phytotoxicity (Axelrood et al.,1995; du Toit 2004), in addition to the negative impact on human health and the environment (Lamichhane et al., 2016).  Therefore, there is a need to develop alternative and sustainable solutions to mitigate damping-off.  One alternative with environmental and human benefits and high field efficacy is PRODIGY®️. The application of PRODIGY®️ reduces seedling drop in cucumber (Pythium spp) by 84.6-77.8%, improving the chemical and biological reference used.  In trials carried out with a certified company, it was found that the application of PRODIGY®️ at three different times of the crop at 1 kg/ha has very significant effects on the control of this disease, in addition to the prolonged action of the product (21DAC). At TRICHODEX, we are always looking for alternatives that protect the environment and the farmer, but that allow us to obtain satisfactory results in the control of the disease with a high economic impact.


  • Agrios, G.N., 1997. fitopatología. Uteha-Noriega,.
  • Axelrood PE, Neumann M, Trotter D. 1995. Seedborne Fusarium on Douglas-fir: pathogenicity and seed stratification method to decrease Fusarium contamination. New For 9:35–51. doi:10.1007/BF00028924
  • Babadoost M, Islam SZ. 2003. Fungicide seed treatment effects on seedling damping-off of pumpkin caused by Phytophthora capsici. Plant Dis 87:63–68. doi:10.1094/PDIS.2003.87.1.63
  • Bacharis C, Gouziotis A, Kalogeropoulou P. 2010. Characterization of Rhizoctonia spp. isolates associated with damping-off disease in cotton and tobacco seedlings in Greece. Plant Dis 94:1314–1322. doi:10.1094/PDIS-12-09-0847
  • du Toit LJ. 2004. Management of diseases in seed crops, in Encyclopedia of Plant and Crop Science. In: Dekker GRM (ed) Encycl. Plant Crop Sci. New York, p 675–677
  • Gaya Karunasinghe, T., Hashil Al-Mahmooli, I., Al-Sadi, A. M., & Velazhahan, R. 2020. The effect of salt-tolerant antagonistic bacteria from tomato rhizosphere on plant growth promotion and damping-off disease suppression under salt-stress conditions. Acta Agriculturae Scandinavica, Section B—Soil & Plant Science, 70(1), 69-75.
  • Horst RK. 2013. Damping-off. Westcott’s plant disease handbook. Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht, p 177
  • Lamichhane, J.R., Dürr, C., Schwanck, A.A. 2017. Integrated management of damping-off diseases. A review. Agron. Sustain. Dev. 37, 10

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