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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Wooster, Ohio » Application Technology Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #399728

Research Project: Sustainable Production and Pest Management Practices for Nursery, Greenhouse, and Protected Culture Crops

Location: Application Technology Research

Title: Evaluation of a proprietary plant extract to suppress bacterial canker and improve yield in hydroponic tomatoes

item ROTONDO, FRANCESCA - The Ohio State University
item KHATRI, NITIKA - The Ohio State University
item Testen, Anna
item MILLER, SALLY - The Ohio State University

Submitted to: Plant Health Progress
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/25/2023
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Managing tomato bacterial canker, a plant disease, in hydroponic tomato production is difficult because synthetic pesticides are not allowed and few products can reduce damage from bacterial plant pathogens. The scientific team investigated applications of a plant extract to reduce damage due to bacterial canker. Biweekly plant extract applications were shown to reduce disease severity in one trial year and increase yield in both trial years. This research demonstrated that plant extracts may be an option for synthetic-pesticide free management of plant diseases in hydroponic vegetable production.

Technical Abstract: Bacterial canker of tomato, caused by the systemic bacterial phytopathogen Clavibacter michiganensis, can result in significant economic losses in hydroponic tomato production systems. Lacking effective bactericides, the disease is managed primarily by clean seed procedures, sanitation and quarantine. Plant extracts have been shown to display antimicrobial activity and/or induce plant resistance to disease. We tested the efficacy of AOMMA-Agro, an OMRI-listed proprietary blend of plant extracts, in suppressing bacterial canker and improving yield and shelf life in hydroponic tomato trials over two years. Experiments were conducted in a greenhouse with ‘Campari’ tomatoes transplanted into coconut coir blocks and grown under hydroponic conditions. Plants were trellised, pruned and harvested according to commercial standards. AOMMA-Agro was applied weekly or biweekly as a foliar spray and inoculated with C. michiganensis. Plants treated with water and inoculated or not inoculated served as controls. Disease severity was relatively low in both years, however disease progress was significantly lower for plants inoculated and treated bi-weekly, but not weekly, with AOMMA-Agro than non-treated, non-inoculated plants in one of two trials. Similar results were observed in C. michiganensis incidence determined using qPCR. Marketable yield was 29% and 44% higher from inoculated plants treated bi-weekly with AOMMA-Agro than from non-treated, non-inoculated plants in the two experiments. These results support the use of AOMMA-Agro as a potential option for bacterial canker management and yield enhancement in hydroponic tomato greenhouse production systems.