Control of light leaf spot and clubroot in brassica crops using defence elicitors

GRD McGrann, T Yoxall, LJ Paterson, JMG Taylor, IG Birmpilis, DR Walters, ND Havis

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Plant defence elicitors are compounds that can induce host defence responses against plant pathogens and offer a novel strategy for disease management. Disease control by elicitors can be inconsistent and is often dependent on the crop, the variety and the environment. The use of foliar application of defence elicitors to control light leaf spot (LLS) disease caused by Pyrenopeziza brassicae in the brassica crops winter oilseed rape (WOSR) and Brussel sprouts was evaluated in field trials across multiple years. Elicitor responses in WOSR varied between years. Yield benefits were also inconsistent and did not reflect the level of disease control. Results with Brussel sprouts were more consistent although variation between variety, trial site and year were observed. In particular the salicylic acid analog Acibenzolar-S-Methyl, in the commercial product Bion®, demonstrated good disease control across the field trial sites in the early maturing Brussel sprout variety Cobus. Levels of LLS were consistently reduced when Bion® was alternated within a standard fungicide programme, applied as an individual spray or in combination with other defence elicitors. When applied as a root drench or seed soak Bion® also reduced symptom development of the soil-borne brassica disease clubroot, caused by Plasmodiophora brassicae, in WOSR. These results indicate that defence elicitors such as Bion® can be used as an additional disease management tool alongside host resistance and standard fungicide programmes to protect brassica crops.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)447 - 461
Number of pages15
JournalEuropean Journal of Plant Pathology
Issue number2
Early online date26 Nov 2016
Publication statusFirst published - 26 Nov 2016

Bibliographical note



  • Bion
  • Disease management
  • Elicitor
  • Induced resistance
  • Plasmodiophora brassicae
  • Pyrenopeziza brassicae


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