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Phytopathology. 2003 Oct;93(10):1320-8. doi: 10.1094/PHYTO.2003.93.10.1320.

Joint action of disease control measures: a case study of alternaria leaf blight of carrot.


ABSTRACT The efficacy of chemical (i.e., foliar fungicide sprays), genetic (i.e., moderately resistant cultivars), and cultural (i.e., drip-irrigation system) control measures was quantified individually and in combination in the management of Alternaria dauci, the causal agent of Alternaria leaf blight of carrot. Whereas host resistance and drip irrigation affected both the time of disease onset and the rate of disease progression, chemical control affected only the latter. In all cases, a single control measure did not provide an acceptable level of disease suppression. Control efficacy values (based on the relative area under the disease progress curve) for chemical, genetic, and cultural control were 58 +/- 11, 39 +/- 20, and 60 +/- 22%, respectively (values are means +/- standard error). By contrast, implementing two control measures concurrently always improved disease suppression significantly compared with the individual measures. Control efficacy values were 91 +/- 8% for the integration of chemical and genetic measures and 82 +/- 23% for the integration of chemical and cultural measures. Moreover, yields in plots protected by two control measures simultaneously were higher by 10.1 to 28.6 t/ha than those in the respective plots protected by single measures. The joint effect of chemical control and host resistance was additive, whereas that of chemical control and drip irrigation was synergistic in most cases. A literature review was performed to determine if these findings represent a general relationship between chemical and genetic, and chemical and cultural measures. Based on 19 reviewed cases, it was concluded that additive effects are the rule and synergistic or antagonistic effects are the exception. Synergistic effects of two control measures were observed when one control measure improved the efficacy of the other directly or when one control measure induced host resistance or predisposed the pathogen to increased susceptibility. These results may enable a more effective selection of candidate control measures for integration in the future.

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