Publications

Review : Holistic pest management against early blight disease towards sustainable agriculture

Jindo, Keiji; Evenhuis, Albartus; Kempenaar, Corne; Pombo Sudré, Cláudia; Zhan, Xiaoxiu; Goitom Teklu, Misghina; Kessel, Geert

Summary

Alternaria species are well-known aggressive pathogens that are widespread globally and warmer temperatures caused by climate change might increase their abundance more drastically. Early blight (EB) disease, caused mainly by Alternaria solani, and brown spot, caused by Alternaria alternata, are major concerns in potato, tomato and eggplant production. The development of EB is strongly linked to varieties, crop development stages, environmental factors, cultivation and field management. Several forecasting models for pesticide application to control EB were created in the last century and more recent scientific advances have included modern breeding technology to detect resistant genes and precision agriculture with hyperspectral sensors to pinpoint damage locations on plants. This paper presents an overview of the EB disease and provides an evaluation of recent scientific advances to control the disease. First of all, we describe the outline of this disease, encompassing biological cycles of the Alternaria genus, favorite climate and soil conditions as well as resistant plant species. Second, versatile management practices to minimize the effect of this pathogen at field level are discussed, covering their limitations and pitfalls. A better understanding of the underlying factors of this disease and the potential of novel research can contribute to implementing integrated pest management systems for an ecofriendly farming system.