Control of brown spot of pear (Stemphylium vesicarium)with synthetic antimicrobial peptides and selected Bacillus strains


Abstract: Brown spot of pear is a fungal disease caused by Stemphylium vesicarium thatproduces important economical losses in several European pear growing areas. The managementof the disease is based on protective fungicide applications, but the efficacy of disease control islimited, especially when the disease pressure is high. In order to decrease the disease pressurenew strategies and methods have been introduced. These strategies consist of control of theinoculum production using sanitation methods, which are based on combinations of leaf litterremoval in winter and biological control agents (Trichoderma spp.) applied during late winter,spring and summer. In the present work, new methods aimed to optimize the disease control areevaluated, including the use of new biological control agents to decrease the soil inoculum, andsynthetic antifungal peptides to control infections. Three Bacillus subtilis strains were effective ininoculum reduction and two synthetic peptides showed a high efficacy in pathogen inhibition andinfection control. These biocontrol strains and synthetic peptides will be further investigated fortheir use in integrated management of brown spot of pear.

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