Can we influence virosis or fungal pathogens through activation of plant defenses?

Residue 0, biofungicides or retrovirals are some of the names given to certain products that, in one way or another, have a positive impact on plants, reducing fungal or viral diseases in crops.

Fungal and viral diseases pose a constant threat to crop health and yield. These are pathogenic microorganisms that can wreak havoc in the fields, affecting the quality, yield and even the economic viability of the farm. These fungal and viral diseases present real challenges to growers, requiring effective and constantly evolving management strategies.

In this sense, Vellsam Materias Bioactivas, a leader in the research and development of biotechnological solutions that improve crops around the world, has been researching new formulations of natural origin to reduce certain fungal or viral diseases for more than five years.

To this end, Vellsam has carried out numerous trials with combinations of certain compounds such as vitamins, botanical and microbial extracts, biotic and abiotic elicitors or amino acids, with the aim of obtaining secondary metabolites that act as biofungicides or act as signal elements that induce the plant to defend itself against external attacks.

Today’s horticultural plants have been crossed to give priority to productivity and precocity of fruits. Thus, little by little, some factors have been introduced that induce greater resistance or tolerance to certain biotic, pathogenic and abiotic situations, such as sudden changes in temperature, salinity or lack of water.

Thus, in addition to this genetic material, a new stage is currently being opened in the use of elicitors through complex fertilizers, in which antioxidants, biostimulants and osmoprotectants prevail, which cause the appearance of chemical defense mechanisms against these different external factors.

One of Vellsam Bioactive Materials’ solutions that fulfills this role is Provite Defense, a product that acts in the active defense of plants, through endogenous production or exogenous application of compounds known as elicitors. The objective of these elicitors is to mediate as activators of defensive reactions, stimulating the plant’s defense mechanisms to protect it, thus reducing diseases caused by fungi and bacteria in different types of crops.

In one of the trials carried out with Provite Defense on a cucumber crop affected by a yeast infection, spore dispersion and disease spread were observed in the control leaves, while in the leaves that received the application the plant was resistant, confining the pathogen and limiting the disease.

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On the other hand, Vellsam has other products, such as Eklovit, where the union of certain biostimulants such as algae, amino acids, vitamins, sugars or extracts, up to more than 18 different substances, provide plants with an immediate response to viral symptomatology, such as Pepino mosaic virus (PepMV) or New Delhi virus, minimizing the damage caused by these in tomato, zucchini or cucumber crops and maintaining the production quality parameters in the affected plants.