Evaluation of selected fungicide application regimes and biotic agents for the management of basil downy mildew

Guirong Zhang, Mohammad Babadoost, Alan De Young, Eric T. Johnson, David A. Schisler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Basil downy mildew (Peronospora belbahrii) is a destructive disease that occurs in sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum). Foliar fungicide treatments could reduce infection and the severity of foliar symptoms over the course of the growing season. Multiple fungicides in variable combinations, application rates, and sequences were applied to basil foliage weekly over the course of a field season in Illinois (14 July to 8 Sept. 2014), and the treatment effects on basil downy mildew were evaluated three times. The evaluated treatments included mixtures and different rotations of azoxystrobin, potassium phosphite, mandipropamid, cyazofamid, oxathiapiprolin, experimental compound A18269SE, dimethomorph, zoxamide + mancozeb, fluazinam, fluopicolide, mefenoxam + copper hydroxide, fenamidone, mancozeb, and ametoctradin + dimethomorph. Potassium phosphite, which is known to be effective against other downy mildew pathogens, was included in combination with other fungicides or in fungicide application sequences. Disease severity was rated in fungicide-treated plots (0% to 20%) and compared with the control (73% to 80%) at each evaluation time. All fungicide treatments significantly reduced the area under the disease progress curve values compared with the untreated control. Adding a nonionic surfactant did not improve the efficacy of any of the chemical treatments evaluated for reducing downy mildew. Organic basil growers need novel, effective products to minimize damage from basil downy mildew. To aid organic basil growers, two novel, effective biocontrol agents were evaluated, Bacillus amyloliquefaciens AS 43.3 and Papiliotrema flavescens OH 182.9 3C (formerly Cryptococcus flavescens). Greenhouse experiments were conducted with the fungicides quinoxyfen and azoxystrobin serving as negative and positive fungicide treatment controls, respectively. Azoxystrobin reduced downy mildew according to the greenhouse tests, but neither quinoxyfen nor the biocontrol agents reduced downy mildew severity compared with the untreated control. This study identified 13 fungicide regimens that resulted in less than 10% basil downy mildew disease severity. More studies are needed to identify effective control products for basil downy mildew on organic basil.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)822-829
Number of pages8
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2018


  • Ocimum basilicum
  • Peronospora belbahrii
  • Pesticide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Horticulture


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