Antifungal activity of liquid waste obtained from the detoxification of steam-exploded plant biomass against plant pathogenic fungi

Ugo De Corato, Egidio Viola, Giuseppe Arcieri, Vito Valerio, Fernando Antonio Cancellara, Francesco Zimbardi

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The antifungal activity of steam-exploded liquid waste (SELW) produced by the detoxification of steam-exploded biomass of Miscanthus sinensis, Arundo donax and wheat straw for 2nd generation industrial bioethanol production was studied against plant pathogenic fungi for the first time. Quantification of fermentation inhibitors (2-furaldehyde, 5-hydroxymethylfurfural, acetic and formic acid) was carried out by standard methods. Mycelial growth inhibition and conidial germination of eight fungal strains [. Alternaria alternata, Botrytis cinerea, Colletotrichum acutatum, Cladosporium fulvum, Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. lycopersici (FOL), F.oxysporum f. sp. melonis (FOM), F. solani f. sp. pisi and Verticillium dahliae] were evaluated invitro at different dilution rates (1:2, 1:4 and 1:8) for each SELW. Disease suppressiveness was assessed invivo in eight horticultural pathosystems (A.alternata/tomato, B.cinerea/tomato, C.acutatum/strawberry, C.fulvum/tomato, FOL/tomato, FOM/melon, F.solani f. sp. pisi/pea and V.dahliae/eggplant) under greenhouse conditions. Pathogen suppression by each SELW, applied both in spray form on to tomato leaves and skins of tomato and strawberry, and by means of dipping method in watering suspensions on to seedling root systems of tomato, melon, pea and eggplant, was evaluated at dilution rates of 1:2, 1:4 and 1:8 using irrigation water during curative and preventive treatments. Investigations carried out invitro showed that M.sinensis SELW was more suppressive than wheat straw SELW, and A.donax SELW was less suppressive than wheat straw SELW at the lowest dilution rates. Relationships between the concentration of 2-furaldehyde, acetic and formic acid present in SELWs and their antifungal effect were found. Moreover, B.cinerea, C.fulvum, V.dahliae, A.alternata, C.acutatum and F.solani f. sp. pisi were more effectively inhibited than FOL and FOM. Investigations performed invivo showed that SELWs of M.sinensis and wheat straw can be diluted at a 1:2 rate and used for controlling six fungal diseases during preventive treatments. In particular, they can be used by dipping of the root systems during transplanting in the case of F.solani f. sp. pisi/pea and V.dahliae/eggplant; on the other hand, they can be nebulized on to the leaves and fruits before symptoms appearance in the case of A.alternata/tomato, B.cinerea/tomato, C.acutatum/strawberry and C.fulvum/tomato. This study is of particular interest because it points out how these SELWs could be employed in horticultural crop protection in Southern Italy, thereby making it possible to effectively combine industrial production of 2nd generation biofuels with sustainable horticulture under greenhouse conditions. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109 - 118
Number of pages10
JournalCrop Protection
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Agronomy and Crop Science

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