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Sustainable Crop Disease Management using Natural Products

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Alternative methods of disease control such as natural products and compounds derived from biological origins, provide an effective alternate to the use of chemical products or a means to minimize their use. It is imperative now to look for such sustainable crop disease management approaches, that include routine and alternative methods. Natural products for sustainable crop disease management is an effort in this direction, and deals with immediate concerns in the field of natural and alternative products for disease control, apart from using biocontrol organisms. This book presents up-to-date information on natural products and compounds derived from biological origins and thoroughly discusses their applicability, field use and prospects for adoption under different cropping conditions. This book also validates disease management strategies.

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1 Characterization of Bioactive Compounds from Botanicals for the Management of Plant Diseases

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1

Characterization of Bioactive

Compounds from Botanicals for the

Management of Plant Diseases

Duraisamy Saravanakumar,1,3* Loganathan Karthiba,3

Rajendran Ramjegathesh,2 Kuppusami Prabakar3 and Thiruvengadam Raguchander3

1Department

of Food Production, Faculty of Food and Agriculture, The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad; 2Department of Life Sciences, Faculty of

Science and Technology, The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad;

3Department of Plant Pathology, Centre for Plant Protection Studies, Tamil Nadu

Agricultural University, Coimbatore, India

1.1 Introduction

Plant diseases cause significant damage and economic losses in agricultural and horticultural crops every year. Global losses caused by plant pathogens are estimated to be 12% of the potential crop production, despite the continuous release of new resistant cultivars. As a consequence, management strategies including the use of chemical pesticides are often employed inappropriately and indiscriminately. Furthermore, fungi are continually becoming resistant to fungicides and they are at risk of being withdrawn from the market. In addition to reducing crop yield, fungal pathogens often lower crop quality by producing toxins that affect human health. Thus, the replacement of synthetic fungicides by natural products that are nontoxic and specific in their action is gaining considerable attention. In tandem, the higher plants

 

2 Potential Use of Essential Oils, Plant Fats and Plant Extracts as Botanical Fungicides

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2

Potential Use of Essential Oils,

Plant Fats and Plant Extracts as

Botanical Fungicides

Pramila Tripathi1 and A.K. Shukla2

1Department

of Botany, DAV College, Kanpur, India; 2Department of Botany, Indira

Gandhi National Tribal University, Amarkantak, India

2.1 Introduction

Plant diseases are caused by a diverse group of microbes including fungi, bacteria, viruses, viroids and nematodes. Plant pathogens create challenging problems in the cultivation of crops and pose real economic threats to farming systems because they are constantly mutating, resulting in new strains and new challenges to growers. There is a multiplicity of methods currently being employed for the management of plant pathogens such as physical, chemical, biological and cultural methods. One effective method to control plant pathogens has been the application of artificial pesticides (Kiran et al.,

2006) as they are toxic or inhibitory to the pathogens, dependable in terms of activity and also justifiable in terms of benefits compared to cost. Application of artificial pesticides has been successful overall in combatting phytopathogens. It has contributed to increased crop yields and enhanced stability of crop production and has maintained the market quality of the produce (Froyd, 1997). However, indiscriminate utilization of artificial pesticides for control of plant pathogens has caused an imbalance in environmental equilibrium and potential

 

3 Use of Natural Plant Compounds Against Fungal Diseases of Grains

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3

Use of Natural Plant Compounds

Against Fungal Diseases of Grains

Gustavo Dal Bello* and Marina Sisterna

Comisión de Investigaciones Científicas de la Provincia de Buenos Aires, Centro de Investigaciones de Fitopatología (CIDEFI) – Facultad de Ciencias Agrarias y

Forestales, Universidad Nacional de La Plata, La Plata, Argentina

3.1 Introduction

The problem of seed-borne diseases is one of the most important threats to crop production, through reduced plant yields, lowered germinability, reduced vigour, growth, loss of or reduced function and damage to tissue and organs. Seedborne fungi are carried with, on or in seeds, and in suitable environmental conditions may be transmitted to cause disease in developing seedlings or plants. This fungal contamination occurs before and during harvesting, as well as during storage. Pathogenic fungi grown on seeds can cause substantial quantitative and qualitative losses to grains, rendering them unfit for human and animal consumption. In addition, many species are capable of producing mycotoxins and secondary metabolites that are highly toxic to animals and humans. Therefore, the control of pathogenic organisms present on/in seeds is essential, particularly for organic production, where less efficient options/agents are available for protecting crop plants from diseases.

 

4 Natural Products and Elicitors of Natural Origin for the Postharvest Management of Diseases of Fruits and Vegetables

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4

Natural Products and Elicitors of

Natural Origin for the Postharvest Management of Diseases of Fruits and Vegetables

G. Sangeetha,1,3* A. Anandan2,3 and V. Kurucheve3

1Central

Horticultural Experiment Station (ICAR-IIHR), Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India;

Rice Research Institute, Cuttack, Odisha, India; 3Formerly Annamalai

University, Chidambaram, India

2National

4.1 Introduction

Agriculture has undergone fast and profound changes over the past two decades in order to adapt to changes in the requirements of consumers. Perishable harvested produce including fruits and vegetables is transported by road, sea and air to allow it to reach almost every part of the world. Hence, the harvested produce needs to undergo a considerable retention period until it reaches consumers. Fruits are rich in water and nutrients, which tend to improve their organoleptic characters during storage time. Unfortunately, they are also ideal substrates for the growth of pathogenic organisms and hence the spoilage of fruits and vegetables. These quality losses range from 10–15% in developed countries and over 50% in developing countries (Wilson and Wisnienski, 1989).

 

5 Plant Isothiocyanates as an Alternative for Sustainable Disease Control of Horticultural Crops

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Plant Isothiocyanates as an

Alternative for Sustainable Disease

Control of Horticultural Crops

Rosalba Troncoso-Rojas* and Martín Ernesto Tiznado-Hernández

Coordinación de Tecnología de Alimentos de Origen Vegetal, Centro de

Investigación en Alimentación y Desarrollo, Hermosillo, Sonora, México

5.1 Introduction

The need to develop alternative technologies to conventional pesticides for crop disease management, friendly to the environment and agricultural food systems, is an important objective in the field of agricultural sustainability. In this sense, the use of the isothiocyanates could be a very promising alternative for sustainable crop disease management. Isothiocyanates are natural compounds synthesized from the enzymatic cleavage of the glucosinolates – characteristic compounds produced by several plants of the families Capparaceae, Brassicaceae, Koeerliniaceae, Moringaceae, Resedaceae and Tovariaceae.

Glucosinolates are glycoside groups stored in the vacuoles of all plants (Fahey et al., 2001).

 

6 Antifungal Substances from Wild Plants for Development of Natural Fungicides

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Antifungal Substances from

Wild Plants for Development of

Natural Fungicides

J.C. Pretorius* and E. Van Der Watt

Department of Soil, Crop and Climate Sciences, University of the Free State,

Bloemfontein, South Africa

6.1 Introduction

Plant pathogenic fungi is a menace infecting almost all groups of eukaryotic organisms ranging from cellular amoebae, protozoa, algae to larger plant groups such as liverworts, mosses, ferns and higher plants. These fungi are best known for their extensive damage to plants, especially cultivated plants. In world crop production, preharvest losses due to fungal diseases are estimated at 12% in developing countries

(Lee et al., 2001). Synthetic fungicides have been used to control plant pathogens by crop producers for many decades to their benefit (Pretorius and Van der Watt, 2011). However, this does not mean that the use of synthetic fungicides is desirable in all cases and under all circumstances. Hence, alternative methods to combat plant diseases are still urgently needed. Moreover, farmers and scientists alike are seeking less hazardous, and hopefully cheaper, alternatives to conventional synthetic chemicals (Karavaev et al., 2002).

 

7 Botanical Pesticides: The Novel Chemotherapeutics for Managing Plant Viruses

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Botanical Pesticides:

The Novel Chemotherapeutics for

Managing Plant Viruses

C. Jeyalakshmi,1* D. Dinakaran2 and C. Rettinassababady1

1Department of Plant Pathology, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru College of Agriculture and Research Institute, Karaikal, U.T. of Puducherry, India; 2Horticultural College and Research Institute for Women, Navalur Kuttappattu,

Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu, India

7.1 Introduction

Viruses are the second most important plant pathogens, after fungi. They cause severe yield losses and substantially lessen the quality of crop products. The yield losses due to plant viral diseases vary from 5 to 100% depending upon disease severity, susceptibility of cultivars and vector population. By the turn of the millennium, there were as many as 675 plant virus species recognized by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV). The estimated losses in rice yields have been calculated as $1.5 billion in Southeast Asia (Hull, 2002),

$63 million has been lost in apple yields in the

 

8 Role of Medicinal Plants and their Metabolites for the Management of Plant Pathogens

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Role of Medicinal Plants and their Metabolites for the Management of Plant Pathogens

Rashmi Thakare,1 Dnyaneshwar Rathod2 and Mahendra Rai3*

1Wageningen

University and Research Centre, Wageningen, the Netherlands; of Biotechnology, SGB Amravati University, Amravati, India;

3Laboratório de Química Biológica, Instituto de Química, Unicamp Cidade

Universitária ‘Zefferino Vaz’, Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil

2Department

8.1 Introduction

Agriculture is the world’s largest economic sector and the majority of the world population is involved in this sector in some capacity. Agriculture plays an important role in the survival of human beings as well as animals. It is the only important means for the fulfilment of human basic needs, that is food, clothing and shelter. It has been found that there is a greater capacity for multiple crop production in the tropical and subtropical regions of the world. In recent years the demand for food crops has increased tremendously because of the growing population, But agricultural productivity is profoundly reduced due to plant pathogens and insect pests. Major disease outbreaks have resulted in food shortages, particularly in the developing countries.

 

9 Role of Natural Products in Disease Management of Rice

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Role of Natural Products in Disease

Management of Rice

D. Krishnaveni,* D. Ladhalakshmi, G.S. Laha, V. Prakasam,

Asma Jabeen, S.K. Mangrauthia and M. Srinivas Prasad

Department of Plant Pathology, Indian Institute of Rice Research, Hyderabad, India

9.1 Introduction

Rice plays an important role in ensuring the food security of India. It has great importance in Indian culture and from birth to death its existence always prevails. Almost half of the world’s population consumes rice as a staple food. India contributes 21.5% of global rice production. Within the country, rice occupies onequarter of the total cropped area and contributes about 40–43% of total food grain production.

The major rice-producing states in India are

West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Uttar

Pradesh (Shobha Rani et al., 2010). With the advent of significant progress in the areas of agricultural research, extension, education and other infrastructural facilities, there has been a corresponding increase in rice production in

India. At the same time the adoption of improved technologies such as high yielding varieties by the average farmer is very low.

 

10 Use of Seaweed Extracts for Disease Management of Vegetable Crops

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Use of Seaweed Extracts for

Disease Management of Vegetable Crops

Jayaraj Jayaraman* and Nerissa Ali

Department of Life Sciences, The University of the West Indies,

St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago

10.1 Introduction

Seaweeds are members of the algae group, which range in size from microscopic single cells to some of the largest plants known to man, such as giant seaweeds, forming dense forests in coastal waters and referred to also as ‘marine algae’ (Lee, 1986; Thomas, 2002). Seaweeds form an integral part of the marine and coastal ecosystem, contributing to rich biodiversity, and they provide habitat to a variety of microflora and fauna. They are considered to be the aquatic equivalent of trees, shrubs, bushes and lawns, which are important sources of food and offer a rich variety of habitats and refuges for animals.

They are classified as algae-photosynthetic organisms that are non-flowering and have no roots, leafy shoots or sophisticated tissues for transporting water, sugars and nutrients. Seaweeds are therefore not plants but photosynthetic aquatic organisms (Thomas, 2002).

 

11 Managing Plant Diseases with By-products of the Fish Processing Industry

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11

Managing Plant Diseases with By-products of the Fish

Processing Industry

Pervaiz A. Abbasi*

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Southern Crop Protection and

Food Research Centre, London, Ontario, Canada

11.1 Introduction

The fish processing industry generates millions of tonnes of dry and liquid by-products with potential farm applications in animal and crop production. Fish by-products have long been used as a source of plant nutrients for crop production, particularly near coastal areas (Fussell and Goodman, 1941; Ceci, 1975; Quilty and

Cattle, 2011). Fish meal is ground and heatdried fish waste that is rich in nitrogen and it has been very successfully applied to field plots for production of vegetables (Blatt, 1991; Gagnon and Berrouard, 1994; Blatt and McRae, 1998).

Soil application of fish meal or fish solid waste has also been shown to suppress pathogens or nematode pests (Wilhelm, 1951; Akhtar and

Mahmood, 1995). As early as 1951, soil amendment of fish meal in pots suppressed the inoculum of the causal agent of Verticillium wilt in an infested field soil (Wilhelm, 1951). In the pots amended with 1% fish meal (w/w dry soil), all

 

12 Chitosan for Plant Disease Management – Prospects and Problems

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12

Chitosan for Plant Disease

Management – Prospects and Problems

Rajendran Ramjegathesh* and Jayaraj Jayaraman

Department of Life Sciences, The University of the West Indies,

St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago

12.1 Introduction

Plant pathogens cause a variety of diseases in a variety of agricultural and horticultural crops during growth and postharvest, resulting in significant losses in yield and quality of the produce. Chemical pesticides offer the primary solution for controlling plant diseases, but despite the great advantages they have brought to agricultural development, the continuous use of chemical fungicides has created major problems: environmental pollution, human health hazards and increasing resistance of fungal strains to fungicides (Houeto et al., 1995). There is a worldwide search to find new alternatives to control plant pathogenic diseases, giving due priority to methods that minimize disease incidence, and avoid negative effects on human health and the environment. As a result, numerous non-chemical methods have been developed in the recent past for plant disease management.

 

13 Biocontrol Agent Formulations for Sustainable Disease Control of Plants

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13

Biocontrol Agent Formulations for

Sustainable Disease Control of Plants

Jayaraj Jayaraman1* and Angela T. Alleyne2

1Department

of Life Sciences, The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine,

Trinidad and Tobago; 2Department of Biological and Chemical Sciences,

The University of the West Indies, Cave Hill, Barbados

13.1 Introduction

Plant pathogens have posed a major threat to food production ever since the commercialization of agriculture globally. The intensification of agriculture has led to increased dependence on agrochemicals as the sole reliable method of plant protection leaving other alternatives less popular in terms of achieving fast and timebound solutions. However, increasing the use of chemicals has already yielded multiple ill effects on the environment and on consumers directly and indirectly, and, additionally, has favoured the emergence of pesticide resistance among pathogens. Furthermore, overuse of chemicals has drastically changed the economic scenario of crop production, leading to rises in production costs and contributing to the escalation of food prices and commodities all over the world – the worst affected areas being the underdeveloped and the developing nations. On the other side, there is a rising positive trend towards organic crop production methods due to everincreasing public preference and demand for foods grown from chemical-free or chemicalminimal environments. Emergence of new pathogens, particularly the most fastidious ones, is increasing in recent years, which demands

 

14 Effect of Compost Tea on Plant Growth and Plant Disease Management

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14

Effect of Compost Tea on Plant

Growth and Plant Disease Management

Francisco Marín,1 Fernando Diánez,1 Francisco J. Gea,2

María J. Navarro2 and Mila Santos1*

1Departamento

de Producción Vegetal, Escuela Superior de Ingeniería, Universidad de Almería, Almería, Spain; 2Centro de Investigación, Experimentación y Servicios del Champiñón (CIES), Quintanar del Rey, Cuenca, Spain

14.1 Introduction

Pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers have become the basis of highly productive forms of agriculture during the past few decades. However, associated with their indiscriminate use, comes the threat of pollution, severe changes in ecological symmetry and toxicity

(Danielle and Rai, 2006). In Spain, peat has been extensively used in greenhouse and seedbed production. The wide adoption of its use as a substrate component for crops in containers is justified by its excellent physical properties

(Baker, 1957; Verdonck, 1983; Puustjärvi,

1994) and limited biological activity (Waksmam and Puvis, 1932; Baker, 1957), which simplifies handling. Disinfection of the medium is the foremost general practice for solving problems associated with soil and substrate pathogens.

 

15 Ecofriendly Management of Mycotoxigenic Fungi and Mycotoxin Contamination

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15

Ecofriendly Management of

Mycotoxigenic Fungi and Mycotoxin

Contamination

M. Surekha, V. Krishna Reddy and S.M. Reddy

Toxicology Laboratory, Department of Botany, Kakatiya University, Warangal, India

15.1 Introduction

Mycotoxins are toxic metabolites of filamentous fungi, which infest food commodities during different stages of food production to consumption. Statistics reveal that every year approximately 25% of world food grains are affected by variable levels of mycotoxins, which leads to considerable national economic loss (Muller et al., 1998). Outbreaks of mysterious diseases in different parts of the world of unknown aetiology probably may be attributed to mould growth and mycotoxin contamination of food and feeds. The problem of mycotoxin contamination and health hazards was discussed in detailed by Bennett and Klich (2003). Mycotoxin contamination is a worldwide problem.

Hence, the limitation of mycotoxin contamination is of utmost importance. Different countries have created guidelines to regulate the maximum acceptable limits of mycotoxin levels in foods and feed. The mycotoxin incidence mainly depends on environmental conditions both at the preharvest and postharvest stages of food grain production. Hence, the control of mycotoxin problem has become a task of Herculean proportions.

 

16 Use of Silicon Amendments Against Foliar and Vascular Diseases of Vegetables Grown Soil-less

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16

Use of Silicon Amendments Against

Foliar and Vascular Diseases of Vegetables

Grown Soil-less

Maria Lodovica Gullino,1,2* Massimo Pugliese1,2 and

Angelo Garibaldi1

1Agroinnova,

Centre of Competence for Innovation in the Agro.Environmental

Sector, University of Torino, Grugliasco, Italy; 2DISAFA, University of Torino,

Grugliasco, Italy

16.1 Introduction

Silicon (Si) is not usually classified as an essential element of higher plants (Epstein, 1995;

Marschner, 1995). Many plant species accumulate Si in their tissues and its beneficial role in the nutrition of higher plants is well documented

(Epstein, 1999; Epstein, 2009). There is great variation in Si uptake between plant species. Takahashi et al. (1990) divided plants into four classes, depending on leaf Si concentration. The ‘excluders’ contain less than 0.5% Si (expressed in relation to the dry weight), while three groups of

‘accumulators’ contain Si within a range from

0.5–2% (‘low accumulators’), 2–4% (‘medium accumulators’) and more than 4% (‘high accumulators’). Such accumulation variability could be explained by the occurrence of specific uptake mechanisms and transport capacities, for example, distinguishing active transport-based or less efficient diffusion-based mechanisms (Mitani and

 

17 Bioactive Natural Products for Managing Peronosporomycete Phytopathogens

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Bioactive Natural Products for Managing Peronosporomycete

Phytopathogens

M. Tofazzal Islam,1 M. Motaher Hossain2 and

M. Mahfuzur Rahman3*

1Department

of Biotechnology, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Agricultural

University, Gazipur, Bangladesh; 2Department of Plant Pathology, Bangabandhu

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Agricultural University, Gazipur, Bangladesh;

3WVU Extension Service, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia, USA

17.1 Introduction

Intensive agriculture is heavily dependent on synthetic pesticides for pest management. This high pesticide use in agriculture causes environmental pollution and is a serious threat to the lives of non-target organisms including humans.

The deleterious effects of pesticides on various terrestrial and aquatic organisms have been documented in many reports (Dayan et al., 1999).

On the other hand, diverse classes of natural products discovered from plants and environmental microorganisms have been found to inhibit growth and reproduction of plant pests.

 

18 Potential of Compost for Suppressing Plant Diseases

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Potential of Compost for

Suppressing Plant Diseases

Chaney C.G. St. Martin* and Adash Ramsubhag

Department of Life Sciences, The University of the West Indies,

St. Augustine, Republic of Trinidad and Tobago

18.1 Introduction

The benefits of compost in improving plant growth and yield due to its effects on nutrient availability and improving physico-chemical and physical characteristics of the soil are well known.

However, compost is also known to play a role in suppressing various fungal and bacterial plant diseases via the activities of constituent biological, physical or chemical agents. Nevertheless, with the exception of composted bark, which is commonly used to control root and stem diseases in soil-less culture (Moustafa et al., 1977; Kuter et al., 1983; Nelson and Hoitink, 1983; Nelson et al., 1983; Pera and Filippi, 1987), compost has generally been considered to be inadequate for use as a plant disease control agent in conventional cropping systems. It remains important, however, to organic producers who have limited disease control options. Interest in the broader use of compost has been increasing, primarily as a potential alternative to synthetic pesticides, which are known to have negative effects on human health and the environment (St. Martin and Brathwaite, 2012). In contrast to the paradigm of conventional practices that rely on

 

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