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Article

Mixtures of Macro and Micronutrients Control Grape Powdery Mildew and Alter Berry Metabolites

1
Shamir Research Institute, University of Haifa, Haifa 3498838, Israel
2
Faculty of Life Sciences, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan 5290000, Israel
3
Department of Plant Pathology and Weed Research, Agricultural Research Organization, The Volcani Center, Rishon LeZion 7528809, Israel
4
Analytical Chemistry Laboratory, Tel-Hai College, Qiryat Shemona 1220800, Israel
5
STK Bio-Ag Technologies Ltd., Petach Tikva 4951447, Israel
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Artur Alves
Plants 2022, 11(7), 978; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11070978
Received: 24 February 2022 / Revised: 25 March 2022 / Accepted: 30 March 2022 / Published: 4 April 2022
(This article belongs to the Collection Feature Papers in Plant Protection)
Powdery mildew caused by the fungus Erysiphe necator is a major grape disease worldwide. It attacks foliage and berries and reduces yield and wine quality. Fungicides are mainly used for combating the disease. Fungicide resistance and the global requisite to reduce pesticide deployment encourage the use of environment-friendly alternatives for disease management. Our field experiments showed that the foliar application of the potassium phosphate fertilizer Top-KP+ (1-50-33 NPK) reduced disease incidence on leaves and clusters by 15–65% and severity by 75–90%, compared to untreated vines. Top-KP+ mixed with Nanovatz (containing the micronutrients boron (B) and zinc (Zn)) or with TruPhos Platinum (a mixture containing N, P2O5, K2O, Zn, B, Mg, Fe, Mn, Cu, Mo, and CO) further reduced disease incidence by 30–90% and disease severity by 85–95%. These fertilizers were as effective as the fungicide tebuconazole. Tank mixtures of fertilizers and tebuconazole further enhanced control efficacy in the vineyards. The modes of action of fertilizers in disease control were elucidated via tests with grape seedlings, microscopy, and berry metabolomics. Fertilizers applied preventively to the foliage of grape seedlings inhibited powdery mildew development. Application onto existing mildew colonies plasmolyzed mycelia and conidia and arrested the development of the disease. Berries treated with fertilizers or with a fungicide showed a significant increase in anti-fungal and antioxidant metabolites. Twenty-two metabolites, including non-protein amino acids and carbohydrates, known for their anti-fungal and bioactive effects, were significantly upregulated in grapes treated with fertilizers as compared to grapes treated with a fungicide, suggesting possible indirect activity against the pathogen. Esters and organic acids that contribute to wine quality were also upregulated. We conclude that integrating macro and micronutrients in spray programs in commercial vineyards shall control powdery mildew, reduce fungicide deployment, delay the buildup of fungicide resistance, and may improve wine quality. View Full-Text
Keywords: Erysiphe necator; bio-stimulants; fertilizers therapy; metabolomics; secondary metabolites; antioxidants; integrated pest management; Vitis vinifera Erysiphe necator; bio-stimulants; fertilizers therapy; metabolomics; secondary metabolites; antioxidants; integrated pest management; Vitis vinifera
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MDPI and ACS Style

Gur, L.; Cohen, Y.; Frenkel, O.; Schweitzer, R.; Shlisel, M.; Reuveni, M. Mixtures of Macro and Micronutrients Control Grape Powdery Mildew and Alter Berry Metabolites. Plants 2022, 11, 978. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11070978

AMA Style

Gur L, Cohen Y, Frenkel O, Schweitzer R, Shlisel M, Reuveni M. Mixtures of Macro and Micronutrients Control Grape Powdery Mildew and Alter Berry Metabolites. Plants. 2022; 11(7):978. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11070978

Chicago/Turabian Style

Gur, Lior, Yigal Cohen, Omer Frenkel, Ron Schweitzer, Meir Shlisel, and Moshe Reuveni. 2022. "Mixtures of Macro and Micronutrients Control Grape Powdery Mildew and Alter Berry Metabolites" Plants 11, no. 7: 978. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11070978

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