Can plant defence elicitors control bacterial infection in field vegetables?
Abstract: Plant defence elicitors are small molecules that trigger induced resistance pathways. While some are used as a standard treatment against bacterial and fungal pathogens (e.g. Probenazole), the underlying science to others is less well defined. A key question is whether elicitors can be used to control opportunistic plant bacterial pathogens that are prevalent in soil and so replace the only viable option in current use; copper oxychloride. Elicitors were testedagainst opportunistic plant pathogens of broccoli (Pseudomonas fluorescens, P. marginalis, Pectobacterium carotovorum) and onion (Burkholderia gladioli pv allicola) in field and glasshouse trials, respectively. Elicitors had a beneficial effect in reducing the likelihood of infection in onions. Although reproducible trends were evident from the broccoli trials, there were no clear significant differences in the incidence of bacterial disease.