Trials to optimize the use of biological products BlightBan C9-1 and Bloomtime for suppression of fire blight in Canadian orchards

Project Code: BPI07-230

Project Lead

Antonet Svircev - Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Objective

To reduce the number of streptomycin applications, validate the accuracy of predictive models in microclimate situations, and recommend best practices to growers based on experimental results

Erwinia amylovora, is a bacterial pathogen that impacts world wide commercial production of apple and pears. During blossom time and under ideal weather conditions, the pathogen can destroy an entire orchard within one growing season. In Canada, orchard management practices and streptomycin were available to the growers for the control of this disease. In British Columbia approximately a number of orchards are at risk of streptomycin resistance. The recent introduction of biologicals with the help of the Pest Management Centre has provided growers with additional tools towards control of this pathogen and the development of streptomycin resistance in the orchard.

Two commercial biocontrol products have been provided to the Canadian growers. The bacterial antagonists BlightBan C9-1 and Bloomtime provide control of the fire blight pathogen, through competition for nutrients and/or the production of microbial antibiotics. Historically, biologicals have an efficacy of 45-65% and should be used in combination with streptomycin. Biopesticides efficacy varies depending on the pathogen load, weather conditions and the correct timing of spray applications. Streptomycin should not be applied in orchards with resistant E. amylovoara isolates. The goal of this project is to optimize this system, where the biologicals provide protection and help reduce the number of streptomycin applications.

Updates will be provided on the performance of the biopesticides BlightBan C9-1 and Bloomtime in four distinct growing regions of Canada, and 3 climactic subregions in ON. Apogee will be used in some areas to study the control of fire blight late in the season.

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