Louisiana – SARE Southern

Last Updated on August 22, 2023 by Hannah Stevens

Biological Control Effective in Controlling Diseases in Sweetpotatoes

The biological control is an effective alternative to fungicide treatment in order to manage Rhizopus soft rot in stored sweet potatoes.

According to the results of a Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SSARE) Graduate Student Grant, Bio-Save when applied as a dip performed distinctively to the fungicide dicloran, which is a common post-harvest product that protects sweet potatoes against disease. Bio-Save is a post-harvest biological disease prevention for potatoes, and it is certified organic. Its main ingredient is Pseudomonas syringae, a bacterium.

However, researchers stressed that the efficacy may vary depending on many factors, including the cultivar growth, soil type, weather conditions, and the duration of storage of the sweet potatoes.

Waana Kaluwasha, a graduate student at Louisiana State University, and major professor Christopher Clark studied Bio-Save’s application as a dip and as a spray. They also examined the methods of re-curing on five commercial sweet potato cultivars: Beauregard, Bayou Belle, Bellevue, Orleans, and Covington.

Re-curing treatment, both alone or in combination with Bio-Save, did not work for all cultivars in both years. Therefore, it cannot be recommended at this point, and further research is required. Bio-Save, however, has given people an alternative comparable to dicloran, which results in reduced fungicide usage, improved environmental stewardship, and better quality produce that meets the demands of different markets.

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State Contacts

Milagro Berhane

Senior Research Associate

Southern University

Email | (225) 771-2753

Carl Motsenbocker

Professor

LSU AgCenter

Email | (225) 578-1036

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