Losses caused by pathogens and the supply of plants potentially infected by fungi and oomycetes cost nurseries additional expenses. They also cause additional expenses for producers, who must replace the sick plants and have to deal with the consequent labor and loss of production costs. Aqua-Fong represents an alliance between the agricultural producers of the Valencian Community and their main R+D+i agents. This alliance seeks to offer an alternative solution for the treatment of diseases caused by fungi and oomycetes that is more sustainable than traditional solutions and doesn't require using conventional phytosanitary products.
The project is led by the University of Valencia. The Universitat Politècnica de València and La Unió Llauradora are part of the consortium. The tests are being carried out in Viveros Francés (Vine products in Fontanar dels Alforins) and Viveros Cucala (Vegetables in Benigànim). The technology is being supplied by the Aquactiva Solutions company.
The technology being tested is "electrolyzed water", which is based on the principle of membrane electrolysis and allows a biocide to be produced in situ only from renewable elements: water, salt, and electricity.
"The project will end in a couple of months, but we can already announce some of its most important results."
"The project studied the effect of electrolyzed water at 50 and 500 ppm on the mycelial growth of fungi and oomycetes belonging to the Alternaria, Botrytis, Colletotrichum, Fusarium, and Pythium genera and on the germination of spores of fungi of the Alternaria, Botrytis, Colletotrichum, and Fusarium genera. Overall, it was observed that at 500 ppm the product is very effective against spore germination in short exposure times of at most 1 minute."
"Subsequently, trials of preventive and curative treatments were carried out with products based on electrolyzed water for the control of Alternaria solani and Alternaria brassicicola in tomato and broccoli seedlings, respectively. The trials showed very good results in controlling both pathogens with curative treatments.”
"In addition, the possible negative effect that the use of electrolyzed water could have on plants was studied. For this study, the electrolyzed water was applied to tomato and broccoli plants. For tomato plants the phytotoxicity limit was set at 150 ppm, for broccoli plants the phytotoxicity limit was set at 100 ppm. These results are very favorable as a lower concentration of chlorine produces a very good disinfection of the fungi."
"The good results of this new disinfectant, together with the low cost of acquisition, make it a good bet for nurseries in the Valencian Community, as well as a significant improvement in the seedlings that our producers acquire in our nurseries," they concluded.