Saponins as inducers of host resistance for insect and disease management in organic greenhouse production
Pest control treatments based on natural sources (e.g. biopesticides) have experienced remarkable growth globally, but very few are registered for Ontario greenhouse crops, or field-grown crops. Ontario greenhouse cultivation and food processing generate appreciable amounts of commercially exploitable waste containing potential biopesticides. Moreover, greenhouse tomato crop residue and tomato pomace waste are generated as relatively clean streams after harvesting/processing or canning. These residues contain bioactive phytochemicals (e.g. saponins), which are known to be directly antifungal and insecticidal, but nothing is known of the quantity in Ontario varieties, the efficacy in controlling Ontario pests following applications and the potential economic return. Improvement in pest (disease and insect) management strategies for horticultural crops is a priority for organic producers.
We will determine the feasibility of creating preventative crop protection treatments with repellent and plant defence inducing properties from tomato crop and canning residues for use in Ontario’s greenhouse industry. Tomato vine residues will be provided by an organic greenhouse and pomace by an organic processor. The ability of these phytochemicals to control fungal and insect pests common to Ontario greenhouse production through increased host plant defenses and repellent activity, respectively, will be evaluated with in vitro and in-vivo bioassays and in greenhouse experiments. Treatments will be applied in various doses by drenching the potting media or by spraying the foliage. Plants inoculated with pathogens will be assessed for disease symptoms. Bioassay tests will be performed with three common insect pests, by applying extracted saponins to freshly cut leaves at various rates and measuring repellence and toxicity. This project will create value-added products from agricultural residues, attract industrial partners and develop new made-in-Ontario biopesticides for organic greenhouse pest control.
|Dr. Simon Lachance (Activity Leader)||University of Guelph – Ridgetown Campus|
|Dr. Rob Nicol||University of Guelph – Ridgetown Campus|
|Dr. Ian Scott||AAFC - London|