Can submerged macrophytes be effective for controlling waterborne phytopathogens in irrigation ponds? An experimental approach using microcosms

Año Publicación:  2014
Responsable: M. Juan et al.
Journal, Volumen y páginas:
Hydrobiologia, 732(1), 183–196


M. Juan, J. J. Casas, M. A. Elorrieta, S. Bonachela, I. Gallego, F. Fuentes-Rodríguez & E. Fenoy


Irrigation ponds may act as a source of phytopathogenic species that might infest crops through the irrigation systems. Many studies have shown that submerged macrophytes can improve water clarity by out-competing phytoplankton by means of various mechanisms: favoured phytoplankton-grazing zooplankton, reduced nutrient and light availability, increased sinking losses and the release of allelopathically active substances. However, less information is available on the effects of submerged macrophytes on heterotrophic aquatic organisms such as pathogenic bacteria, fungi or oomycete species. This paper studies the effects of three submerged macrophytes—Chara fragilisPotamogeton pectinatus and Najas marina—on the viability in water of propagules of two phytopathogenic isolates of the oomycetes Pythium aphanidermatum and Pythium ultimum. Moreover, we tested general antimicrobial properties (against bacteria and fungi in water) for these macrophytes. The results showed clear inhibitory effects of all three macrophytes on bacterial density in water and of C. fragilis on the viability of Pythium. Thus, preserving aquatic vegetation in irrigation ponds (i.e. charophytes), besides its purely environmental interest, may have important agronomic benefits owing to their role as biological control against some phytopathogenic agents.

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