Data from: Daytime solar heating controls downy mildew Peronospora belbahrii in sweet basil
Cohen, Yigal; Rubin, Avia E. (2015), Data from: Daytime solar heating controls downy mildew Peronospora belbahrii in sweet basil, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.ch656
The biotrophic oomycete Peronospora belbahrii causes a devastating downy mildew disease in sweet basil. Due to the lack of resistant cultivars current control measures rely heavily on fungicides. However, resistance to fungicides and strict regulation on their deployment greatly restrict their use. Here we report on a ‘green’ method to control this disease. Growth chamber studies showed that P. belbahrii could hardly withstand exposure to high temperatures; exposure of spores, infected leaves, or infected plants to 35-45°C for 6-9 hours suppressed its survival. Therefore, daytime solar heating was employed in the field to control the downy mildew disease it causes in basil. Covering growth houses of sweet basil already infected with downy mildew with transparent infra-red-impermeable, transparent polyethylene sheets raised the daily maximal temperature during sunny hours by 11-22°C reaching 40-58°C (greenhouse effect). Such coverage, applied for a few hours during 1-3 consecutive days, had a detrimental effect on the survival of P. belbahrii: killing the pathogen and/or suppressing disease progress while enhancing growth of the host basil plants.