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Seedling trial results

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Company Plant Health Products (Pty) Ltd
Categories Irrigation Water Sprinkler
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    Seedling trial results

    Seedling trials with Trichoderma harzianum (strain kd)
     i.e. the Eco-T strain
    Figure 1 Control of Pythium
    Pythium = Inoculated with Pythium
    T dr + Pythium = Trichoderma drench + Pythium
    T st + Pythium = Trichoderma seed treatment + Pythium
    T cap + Pythium = Trichoderma capping treatment + Pythium

    Figure 2 Control of Rhizoctonia
    Rhizoc = Inoculated with Rhizoctonia
    T dr + Rhizoc = Trichoderma drench + Rhizoctonia
    T st + Rhizoc = Trichoderma seed treatment + Rhizoctonia
    T cap + Rhizoc = Trichoderma capping treatment + Rhizoctonia
    Figure 3 Hydroponics trials. Control of Pythium on lettuce seedlings
    Pythium = Inoculated with Pythium
    Other treatments= Trichoderma applied at rate of 0.06 -1 g/l + Pythium

    Figure 4  Effect of Trichoderma on plant growth
    T dr = Trichoderma drench
    T st = Trichoderma seed treatment
    T cap = Trichoderma capping treatment
    Disease control
    This series of trials was conducted during the course of 2000 and 2001 at the University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg by Jeh-Han Omarjee and Brendon Neumann under the supervision of Prof Mark Laing.  Trials were conducted at the university and not at commercial nursery sites as virulent pathogens were introduced into the trials and it was not desirable to introduce these into commercial nurseries.
    Seedling trials
    A plant growth tunnel was constructed at the university similar to those used in commercial nurseries.  All containers, growth media, fertilization and watering systems were similar to those used commercially.  A highly virulent isolate of Rhizoctonia solani was obtained from the National Fungus Collection (PPRI, Pretoria) and a local isolate of Pythium sp. from diseased cabbage seedlings was used.  These two pathogens were selected as they are the most commonly occurring root pathogens of most crops and they represent two widely divergent groups of fungi.  A strain of Trichoderma that will control both of these pathogens is likely to control most other pathogens.
    Cabbage, cucumber, daisy and Eucalyptus seeds were planted (one per compartment) in composted pine bark medium in speedling trays (24 compartments each).  The disease organisms were added by placing a 1 x 1 cm block of agar culture approximately 2 cm from the bottom of each speedling compartment as they were being filled.  Three Trichoderma treatments were applied:  
    a)  drenching - formulation was added to tap water (1g/litre) and approximately 100 ml of this poured over the 24 compartments of each speedling tray immediately after planting   
    b)  seed treatment - a sticker "Pelgel" was mixed with water (2g/100 ml); formulation at a rate of 1g/litre was added to the Pelgel solution;  seeds were stirred in this mixture and then air dried prior to planting     c)  capping - formulation was mixed into composted pine bark (1g/litre) and this mixture was used as a capping layer to cover the seeds. 
    Controls consisted of seeds planted in composted pine bark with no pathogen or Trichoderma added or with the pathogen only added.  Three replicate trays of each treatment were made.  The trays were randomly arranged in the plant tunnel.  Watering was by overhead sprinkler nozzles, three times daily and fertilization was by adding 1g/litre of an hydroponic fertilizer (313 (38)) to the irrigation water.  Cabbage, cucumber and daisy seedlings were harvested after 4 - 6 weeks and Eucalyptus seedlings after 8 - 10 weeks. 
    The analysed results of disease control are presented in Figures 1 and 2. These trials were probably a more severe test of the activity of Trichoderma than would be normally encountered in the field due to the direct inoculation of the pathogens into each seedling compartment.  Also the Rhizoctonia isolate was particularly virulent.  Figure 1 shows that the addition of Pythium the speedling compartments  had little effect on the number of seedlings that survived to harvest but did reduce the size of the plants in most cases.  The reason for this is that Pythium spp. most often act as sub-lethal pathogens, destroying the finer roots of plants, reducing their ability to grow, but not killing them.  Most of the Trichoderma treatments countered the effects of t
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