Phytophthora capsici: management strategies to produce healthier vegetable crops

Luis Alberto Saltos Rezabala, Felipe Rafael Garcés Fiallos, Álvaro Monteros-Altamirano, Ailton Reis


Horticultural crops are exposed to constant infection with numerous diseases, including those caused by the oomycete Phytophthora capsici. This pathogen is a polyphagous plant pathogen, capable of hosting and infecting dozens of plant species, including cultivated plants and weeds. The aim of this review is to address topics related to etiology and symptoms of this oomycete which produces leaf blight, root rot, crown rot and fruit rot including the integration and application of different control alternatives such as genetics, cultural, physical, biological and chemical. Crops such as sweet pepper (Capsicum annuun) chili pepper (Capsicum spp.), tomato (Solanum lycopersicum), eggplant (Solanum melongena), cucurbits (Cucumis sativus, Cucurbita spp.) among others experience innumerable economic losses. High soil humidity, high temperatures, resistance structures of the pathogen (oospores), low availability of resistant cultivars and a reduced range of fungicides are conditions that difficult the management of diseases caused by P. capsici in the field. Despite of the irrefutable importance of this pathogen, the existing information regarding its integrated management is limited. Therefore, a successful management will depend to a great extent on its knowledge and its control. Thus, the joint application of different control strategies seeks to maintain the pathogen at low population levels and also keeping the epidemics under the threshold of economic damage. In the end, an integrated pest management for P. capsici could produce higher economic returns, long-term sustainable harvests, reduction on the environment impact and better quality products for consumers.



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