Liming and biofungicide for the control of clubroot in cauliflower1
ABSTRACT Clubroot, caused by Plasmodiophora brassicae, is a disease that limits the cauliflower cultivation and is difficult to control. This study aimed to evaluate the efficiency of liming combined with the use of Trichoderma harzianum-based biofungicide for the control of clubroot in cauliflower. In a field experiment, the use of the biofungicide in combination with the application of calcined limestone doses (0 Mg ha-1, 1.0 Mg ha-1, 2.0 Mg ha-1 and 4.0 Mg ha-1) was evaluated. Subsequently, in a greenhouse, the biofungicide combined with liming with quicklime (2.54 Mg ha-1) was tested, and cyazofamid and water were tested as controls. The disease severity and attributes related to root and plant development were analyzed. In the field experiment, the healthy root volume and fresh weight, total root dry weight and inflorescence fresh weight and diameter were all significantly increased, while the diseased root volume, in response to the limestone doses, was reduced. The biofungicide reduced the root growth and inflorescence fresh weight. In the greenhouse, liming increased the healthy root volume and fresh weight, as well as total root dry weight, and reduced the disease severity. No significant difference was observed between the biofungicide and the control (water), which were inferior to cyazofamid. The biofungicide was not efficient in controlling the disease and did not favour the growth of cauliflower plants, either alone or combined with liming. Liming reduced the disease severity and increased the cauliflower root growth and yield.