Fungicide said to offer control of Botrytis and other diseases with no residue

A novel bacterial fungicide with a unique multiple mode of action is said to offer effective Botrytis control on protected strawberries with no residue problems.

Serenade ASO, based on a strain of Bacillus subtilis, is produced by US firm AgraQuest and marketed in the UK by Fargro in conjunction with Syngenta Bioline.

Fargro managing director Dr Paul Sopp said: "The big advantage of Serenade is that it leaves absolutely no residue. Initially, we see it being used close to harvest and during picking as it has no harvest interval. But once we get more experience with it, we would expect it to be used earlier in the season as part of a rotation with conventional fungicides."

He explained that the bacteria is actually living and multiplies on the fruit and foliage. It produces lipopeptides (a form of fat-containing protein) that attacks Botrytis spores and mycelium and also stimulates the plant's own defence mechanism.

"In addition, the bacteria provide a physical barrier (to infection) on flowers, for example, where Botrytis gets in," said Sopp. "However, this is a less important mode of action than the others."

Serenade is mostly a preventative product but it does have some curative activity, he added. There is good evidence from the 30 or so countries where it has been registered for some time - including a number in mainland Europe - that it also controls other diseases such as powdery mildew, anthracnose and even scab.

It is compatible with commonly used biological pest control agents and conventional fungicides, and their cost is comparable.

Serenade's label states that it can be used up to 20 times per season, applied at 10 litres/ha at seven-day intervals. Fargro hopes to get specific off-label approvals for its use on other crops prone to Botrytis attack, like raspberries.

The company has also requested Serenade's approval as an organic fungicide from the Soil Association.


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

How will reduced apple and pear harvests hit the industry?

How will reduced apple and pear harvests hit the industry?

This spring, many top-fruit growers in the UK and across Europe were dismayed to discover that swathes of their orchards had been hit by frost.

How should fruit growers prepare for water abstraction reform?

How should fruit growers prepare for water abstraction reform?

Upcoming reforms to water abstraction licensing will for the first time cap the amount of water that fruit growers can take for trickle irrigation.

Getting a measure of the production labour crisis

Getting a measure of the production labour crisis

At a debate during last week's Fruit Focus trade show in Kent, senior industry figures painted a bleak picture of an increasingly difficult seasonal labour market that is already impacting on investment.