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24, chemin de Borde Rouge -Auzeville - CS52627 31326 Castanet Tolosan cedex - France

Last update: May 2021

Menu Logo Principal Plant pathology unit - INRA AVIGNON

Pathologie vegetale

Zone de texte éditable et éditée et rééditée

Integrated protection

Botrytis cinerea - Sclerotinia sclerotiorum : development of integrated control strategies on protected crops

Nutritional resources have a major effect on all organisms and drive growth, competition and evolution. Plant pathogenic microorganisms are particularly well adapted to exploiting the nutritional resources that plants provide. But the nutritional environment also influences the capacity of plants to realize various metabolic functions that affect their health. Not surprisingly, the impact of mineral nutrition on the susceptibility of plants to certain pathogens has long been described. However, the design of fertilization schemes that promote disease management requires a better comprehension of how nutrition affects plant susceptibility, together with knowledge on how it may influence the efficacy of other control methods. The MISTRAL team developed a strong multidisciplinary cooperation with plant physiologists and agronomists, in close collaboration with technical institutes and experimental stations to gain a better understanding of the mechanisms involved in these phenomena.

These studies converge with our previous studies on the development of control methods (cultural practices, biological control) to protect tomato crops grown under shelters.

Plant nutrition: Impact on disease development and  efficacy of biological control

 Initially developed on the model Botrytis cinerea on tomato, our research is currently deployed on other pathosystems (Sclerotinia and Botrytis on lettuce, Botrytis on strawberry).

One intriguing finding of our studies was that the effect of nitrogen nutrition could be opposite depending on the plant species. For example, high N fertilization levels were associated with reduced susceptibility to B. cinerea (and increased efficacy of biocontrol) for tomato, but they increased susceptibility for lettuce and strawberry. Nitrogen nutrition of the plant was also shown to affect the efficacy of protection provided against B. cinerea by biocontrol agents with contrasted modes of action.

Impact on disease development

B. cinerea on tomato

B. cinerea and S. minor on lettuce

B. cinerea on strawberry

Possible effects of nitrogen nutrition of tomato on the development and control of grey mold caused by Botrytis cinerea

Possible effects of nitrogen nutrition of tomato on the development and control of grey mold caused by Botrytis cinerea

© NICOT Philippe - INRA PACA Avignon

Impact on the efficacy of biological control

biocontrol agents with contrasted modes of action, including competition for space/nutrients, antibiosis and
induced resistancee

  • Abro, M. A. 2013. Nitrogen fertilization of the host plant influences susceptibility, production and aggressiveness of Botrytis cinerea secondary inoculum and on the efficacy of biological control. Thesis, University Avignon et des Pays de Vaucluse, France).
  • Abro, M. A., Lecompte, F., Bardin, M., Nicot, P. 2014. Nitrogen fertilization impacts biocontrol of tomato gray mold. Agronomy for Sustainable Development, 34, 641-648.
  • Abro, M. A., Lecompte, F., Bryone, F., and Nicot, P. 2013. Nitrogen fertilization of the host plant influences production and pathogenicity of Botrytis cinerea secondary inoculum. Phytopathology, 103, 261-267.
  • Lecompte, F., Abro, M. A. and Nicot, P.C. 2013. Can plant sugars mediate the effect of nitrogen fertilization on lettuce susceptibility to two necrotrophic pathogens: Botrytis cinerea and Sclerotinia sclerotiorum? Plant and Soil, 369, 387-401.
  • Lecompte, F., Nicot, P. C., Ripoll, J., Abro, M. A., Raimbault, A. K., Lopez-Lauri, F., Bertin, N. 2017. Reduced susceptibility of tomato stem to the necrotrophic fungus Botrytis cinerea is associated with a specific adjustment of fructose content in the host sugar pool. Annals of Botany, 119, 931-943.
  • Nicot, P. C., Bardin, M., Debruyne, F., Duffaud, M., Lecompte, F., Neu, L., Pascal, M. 2013. Effect of nitrogen fertilisation of strawberry plants on the efficacy of defence-stimulating biocontrol products against Botrytis cinerea. IOBC WPRS Bulletin, 88, 39-42.
  • Ouhibi, C., Attia, H., Nicot, P., Lecompte, F., Vidal, V., Lachaâl, M., Urban, L., Aarrouf, J. 2015. Effects of nitrogen supply and of UV-C irradiation on the susceptibility of Lactuca sativa L to Botrytis cinerea and Sclerotinia minor. Plant and Soil, 393, 35-46.

Other control methods

UV-C radiation

  • Forges, M., Vàsquez, H., Charles, F., Sari, D. C., Urban, L., Lizzi, Y., Bardin, M., Aarrouf, J.  (2018). Impact of UV-C radiation on the sensitivity of three strawberry plant cultivars (Fragaria x ananassa) against Botrytis cinerea. Scientia Horticulturae, 240, 603-613. DOI : 10.1016/j.scienta.2018.06.063
  • Vàsquez, H., Ouhibi, C., Lizzi, Y., Azzouz, N., Forges, M., Bardin, M., Nicot, P.C., Urban, L., Aarrouf, J. (2017). Pre-harvest hormetic doses of UV-C radiation can decrease susceptibility of lettuce leaves (Lactuca sativa L.) to Botrytis cinerea L. Scientia Horticulturae, 222, 32-39. DOI : 10.1016/j.scienta.2017.04.017PANIST

UV-C combined with biocontrol

  • Forges, M., Charles, F., Pascal, M., Aarrouf, J., Bardin, M. (2018). Impact of UV-C radiation combined with biocontrol agents on the susceptibility of strawberry plants to Botrytis cinerea. IOBC WPRS Bulletin, 133, 86-90.

Impact of the irrigation method on the grey mould epidemiology under unheated tomato  tunnels

  • Aissat, K., Nicot, P.C., Guechi, A., Bardin, M., and Chibane, M. 2008. Grey mould development in greenhouse tomatoes under drip and furrow irrigation. Agronomy for Sustainable Development 28: 403-409.
Stem canker caused by grey mould in greenhouse tomatoes

Stem canker caused by grey mould in

greenhouse tomatoes

© Pathologie végétale INRAE - Avignon

Impact of the deleafing method of tomato plants on the susceptibilty of the stem wounds to B. cinerea

Cut the leaf petioles closed to the stem decrease the risk of infection stems of tomato plants by Botrytis cinerea.

  • Decognet, V., Ravetti, F., Martin, C., and Nicot, P.C. 2010. Improved leaf pruning reduces development of stem cankers caused by grey mould in greenhouse tomatoes. Agronomy for Sustainable Development 30: 465-472.