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Plantwise Technical Factsheet

damping-off (Pythium debaryanum)

Host plants / species affected
Arachis hypogaea (groundnut)
Banksia marginata (silver banksia)
Beta vulgaris (beetroot)
Beta vulgaris var. saccharifera (sugarbeet)
Brassica nigra (black mustard)
Brassica oleracea var. capitata (cabbage)
Cactaceae (cacti)
Capsicum annuum (bell pepper)
Carica papaya (pawpaw)
Citrullus lanatus (watermelon)
Clarkia (satin flowers)
Colocasia esculenta (taro)
Cucumis sativus (cucumber)
Euphorbia pulcherrima (poinsettia)
Fragaria vesca (wild strawberry)
Hordeum vulgare (barley)
Malus (ornamental species apple)
Musa x paradisiaca (plantain)
Nicotiana tabacum (tobacco)
Petroselinum crispum (parsley)
Phaseolus (beans)
Pinus (pines)
Pinus caribaea (Caribbean pine)
Pinus elliottii (slash pine)
Pinus taeda (loblolly pine)
Prunus persica (peach)
Saccharum officinarum (sugarcane)
Schefflera actinophylla (umbrella tree)
Solanum lycopersicum (tomato)
Solanum melongena (aubergine)
Syzygium aromaticum (clove)
Theobroma cacao (cocoa)
Trifolium subterraneum (subterranean clover)
Triticum (wheat)
Tulipa (tulip)
Ulmus americana (American elm)
Vigna mungo (black gram)
Vigna radiata (mung bean)
Viola wittrockiana hybrids
Zea mays (maize)
List of symptoms/signs
Whole plant  -  damping off
Prevention and control
Chemical Control

Due to the variable regulations around (de-)registration of pesticides, we are for the moment not including any specific chemical control recommendations. For further information, we recommend you visit the following resources:

Biological Control

Abada (1994) investigated the efficiency of Trichoderma as a biocontrol agent against fungi causing damping-off and root-rot in pot and field experiments. T. harzianum caused a great reduction in the infection level of damping-off and root-rot diseases, and resulted in increased root weight both in pot and field experiments.

Vesely and Koubova (1994) found that Beauveria bassiana and B. brongniartii quickly started fructification and induced lysis of phytopathogenic fungi jointly cultured on agar. B. brongniartii more effectively colonized and inhibited growth of phytopathogenic fungi than B. bassiana. Both species were antagonistic to P. debaryanum. They discussed the use of antagonistic properties of Beauveria species for control of phytopathogenic fungi.

Pena et al. (1994) tested a total of 85 strains of Bacillus species and 15 actinomycetes against P. debaryanum causing damping-off of Casuarina equisetifolia. P. debaryanum was inhibited by eight of the isolates. The three most promising bacteria, Bacillus subtilis (code R060), Bacillus sp. (code R071) and Streptomyces sp. (code R086), were applied as seed treatments and inhibited growth in the laboratory; possible mechanisms of control were discussed.

Dodd and Stewart (1992) describe mechanisms for the biological control of Pythium induced damping-off of beetroot (Beta vulgaris) in the glasshouse. Eight test organisms were assessed for their ability to suppress damping-off. The test organisms were applied as seed treatments (106 propagules/ml in 2% methylcellulose) and the seed was sown in steam-sterilized seedling mix, which had been artificially inoculated with the respective Pythium species. A comparison was made with a fungicide (captan) seed treatment. The number of emerged seedlings was recorded at 2 weeks and the number of healthy seedlings and seedling DW were recorded at 4 weeks. Four of the test organisms (Penicillium raistrickii, P. simplicissimum, Penicillium sp. and Pseudomonas fluorescens) gave a consistently high level of disease control at both 2 and 4 weeks. This is the first record of biocontrol activity exhibited by P. raistrickii and P. simplicissimum. In particular, P. simplicissimum gave complete control of damping-off induced by P. debaryanum and produced a seedling biomass value equal to that of the uninoculated control. The five isolates were considered to be the most promising test organisms for further evaluation.

Kumar and Tripathi (1991) evaluated the leaf juice of some higher plants for their toxicity against soil-borne pathogens. Leaf extracts of 18 plant species belonging to 11 families of higher plants were screened for control of P. debaryanum. Only extracts of Eupatorium cannabinum completely inhibited mycelial growth at a minimum dilution of 1:1. The fungitoxicity of E. cannabinum leaf extracts was reduced when leaves were oven dried, but not when they were shade dried. When pea seeds were soaked in E. cannabinum leaf extracts for 6 h prior to planting, no damping-off of seedlings occurred.

Sesan (1988) report that good results were obtained with preparations of Trichoderma viride for seed treatment of bean and pea against P. debaryanum.

Turhan and Grossmann (1988) described the antagonistic activity of Neocosmospora vasinfecta var. africana in dual culture. P. debaryanum was found to be highly sensitive. A culture filtrate, diluted 10 times with potato dextrose agar, suppressed the mycelial growth of P. debaryanum completely.

Sesan et al. (1986) reported that in the glasshouse, phytotron and the field, seed treatment with preparations from T. viride reduced infection of sunflower and cotton by P. debaryanum. Preparations from Gliocladium roseum also gave good results in the case of cotton. Seed treatment with specific fungicides combined with preparations from T. viride at low doses gave effective control of the pathogen in both crops.
Related treatment support
Plantwise Factsheets for Farmers
Benh Vien Cay An Qua Dong Bang Song Cuu Long; Thuoc Vien Nghien Cuu Cay An Qua Mien Nam; CABI, Vietnamese language
Ding ShouFu; CABI, 2016, Chinese language
Islam, M. S.; Uddin, K.; CABI, 2012, English language
Islam, M. S.; Uddin, K.; CABI, 2012, Bengali language
Omid, S. A.; CABI, 2012, Dari language
Pest Management Decision Guides
Moses, E.; Akrofi, S.; Beseh, P.; CABI, 2016, English language
Cambodia, General Directorate of Agriculture; CABI, 2015, English language
Castillo, P.; Arguello, H.; Salazar, W.; Rostran, J. L.; CABI, 2012, Spanish language
Castillo, P.; Arguello, H.; Salazar, W.; RostrĂ¡n, J. L.; CABI, 2012, Spanish language
Priyantha, L.; Wickramaarachchi, W. A. R. T.; Abeykoon, A. N.; Banu, S.; CABI, 2015, English language
External factsheets
Biovision Factsheets, Biovision Foundation, 2011, English language
Ontario CropIPM factsheets, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Canada, 2015, English language
Ontario CropIPM factsheets, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Canada, 2015, French language
Ontario CropIPM factsheets, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Canada, 2015, English language
Ontario CropIPM factsheets, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Canada, 2015, French language
Video factsheets
Agropedia ICRISAT PPT-Videos, IIT, Kanpur, 2014, English language
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