Outcome of Deploying microbes as a seed treatment for protection against soil-borne plant pathogens

Public demand for organically-grown food has stimulated research into the use of organic amendments such as compost and vermicompost for disease management. Seed and seedling infecting pathogens causing damping-off are particularly devastating because the causal agents commonly have numerous host plants. Vegetable operations or where direct-seeding is practiced are particularly vulnerable to disease outbreaks. Effective control of soil-borne plant pathogens is often accomplished through the use of fumigants or chemical seed treatments. However, these materials can be potentially harmful to other organisms and the environment. Currently, there are few effective products for certified organic agriculture to combat seed and seedling diseases. Stakeholders such as organic growers and seed producers have long proclaimed a critical need for new techniques and technologies for disease management. Therefore, the goal of this project was to develop additional tools for managing seed and seedling infecting pathogens causing damping-off.

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