Biobest has announced that growers of ornamental plants and tomatoes, sweet peppers and aubergines will be aided in their battle against root diseases such as Pythium and Fusarium, through the exclusive distribution of the ‘beneficial fungus’ Trichoderma asperellum T34 (Asperello T34 Biocontrol) in Belgium, the Netherlands and France.
The French authorities have already approved the use of the product on all ornamental crops (under protection) to control Fusarium oxysporum.
In Belgium, the product may be used in annual ornamental plants (under protection). Dutch authorities have currently only granted the use in carnations. Biobest is investigating how to extend the approval for use in ornamental crops via field experiments and cooperation with the sector in the Netherlands.
Biobest launched Asperello T34 Biocontrol in the US at the end of last year, where it met with very positive reactions from growers in the ornamental sector.
“Growers are very satisfied with the excellent solubility and effectiveness against Fusarium”, says Veronica Cervantes, Biobest advisor in North America.
Trichoderma asperellum T34 not only protects plants against root diseases, it also stimulates healthy plant and crop growth,says Sarah van Beneden, product manager at Biobest.
“It is therefore important to introduce it to the root zone as soon as possible”, continues Van Beneden. “For that reason, we advise growers to start using Asperello T34 Biocontrol at the propagation stage.”
Asperello T34 Biocontrol's protective power is due to the fact that T. asperellum T34 colonises the habitat of the pathogenic fungi.
“Any way of penetrating the roots is closed off to pathogens such as Pythium and Fusarium'” adds Van Beneden. The beneficial fungus also stimulates healthy root growth and triggers the plant’s natural defence mechanisms. “In field trials we observed that Asperello T34 Biocontrol protected the roots for at least 12 weeks.”
This Trichoderma strain was isolated from a Fusarium suppressive compost by the Spanish spin-off of the University of Barcelona, Biocontrol Technologies. Asperello T34 Biocontrol turned out to be the most aggressive and effective strain against the root diseases in question.
“We are extremely pleased with the product registration in these countries”, says Eduard Fernando Martinez,” CEO of Biocontrol Technologies. “We are absolutely convinced our product will play a leading role in European horticulture and that, thanks to its strong network, Biobest is the ideal partner to promote it.”
Asperello T34 Biocontrol is authorised in the US against soilborne diseases in protected ornamentals, including Fusarium, Pythium, Rhizoctonia and Phytophthora.