Location
Field evaluation of natural plant elicitors with or without a reduced fungicide programme for control of botrytis in blackcurrants and effects on yield and quality parameters

Research

SF 169 - Field evaluation of natural plant elicitors with or without a reduced fungicide programme for control of botrytis in blackcurrants and effects on yield and quality parameters

Start Date: 
01/02/2017
Completion Date: 
31/03/2019
Project Leader: 
Angela Berry, NIAB EMR
Code: 
SF 169
Industry representative:Harriet Roberts, Lucozade Ribena
 
AHDB Horticulture Cost: £19,246
 
Project aim(s): To evaluate elicitors, in particular CropBioLife (Biorevolution, South Africa) for their potential in contributing to control of blackcurrant diseases, especially botrytis fruit rot and effects on yield and quality parameters
 
Project objective(s):
To evaluate programmes of CropBioLife and other elicitors in comparison with fungicides for control of botrytis fruit rot and other rots 
To assess the effects of elicitors on fruit set, yield and crop vigour
 
Project SummaryBotrytis fruit rot is an important disease of blackcurrants which currently relies on the use of routine fungicide sprays for control. Intensive use of fungicides in this way is undesirable and unsustainable and may result in residues in the fruit. There is also the risk that some fungicide products may be withdrawn or the terms of use modified resulting in reduced effectiveness. Therefore it is important to identify alternative approaches for control. The use of biocontrol agents was explored in Hortlink project HL01105. However, in trials these were only effective in one of the three years and were prohibitively expensive compared to fungicides. The use of plant strengtheners or elicitors was also explored. Such products increase the resistance of the host to disease and some may have other beneficial effects on yield and crop growth. CropBioLife, a plant strengthener based on flavonoids, gave promising results in control of botrytis in one trial and was also a third of the cost of the standard fungicide programme. This project will further evaluate CropBioLife for control of botrytis fruit rot, its possible effects on yield and crop growth and for consistency of performance. There will be opportunities to evaluate other elicitors of interest identified in projects on other crops.