Integrated approaches to control fungi affecting the canopy of olive trees


Abstract: Olive (Olea europaea L.) is one of the most extensively cultivated fruit crop in theareas characterized by a Mediterranean climate. Its cultivation is threatened by several fungalpathogens such as Fusicladium oleagineum, Pseudocercospora cladosporioides,Colletotrichum spp., and Botryosphaeria dothidea, causing olive leaf spot, cercosporiosis,anthracnose, and fruit rot, respectively. Traditionally, control of aerial fungal disease of oliverelies on some management practice, and fungicides are applied when necessary, at thebeginning of the spring and in autumn. However, protectant compounds alone such as copperbasedproducts and dodine, are not effective against latent or quiescent infections. Aplurennial research plan was undertaken in order to evaluate the activity of some fungicidesused both in conventional and organic management system, in reducing the incidence of theabove mentioned disease of olive. Selected experimental fields were located in Apulia, inareas where the different olive diseases occur. On the whole, results demonstrate that aerialfungal diseases of olive can be controlled in an integrated approach, by using appropriatetiming application of traditional fungicides and Thiopron®, a new sulphur-based product withresistance-inducing activity.

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