Industry Strategic Science and Technology Plans (ISPs) Platform

Pilot Testing of Wiltcure as a New Biocontrol Agent against Fusarium wilt of Solanaceous Crops

Wiltcure experimental setup. Tomato plants with and without wiltcure. Image Credit: ARMRD, DOST-PCAARRD

Solanaceous crops such as tomato, chili pepper and eggplant are being affected by major pests and diseases, including Fusarium oxysporum which causes Fusarium wilt. Farmers still rely on synthetic chemicals to prevent or control Fusarium wilt. However, these chemical pesticides are hazardous to health and can result in environmental contamination. In this regard, the use of biocontrol agents has emerged as a promising alternative. Unlike conventional pesticides which are generally synthetic materials that directly kill or inactivate the pathogen, biocontrol agents are considered eco-friendly and easy to use. 

WiltCure is a biocontrol agent against Fusarium wilt of solanaceous crops. It is a powdered formulation with the callus and fungus co-culture extract as the active ingredient. It was found effective when tested in pot/greenhouse experiments and found safe to humans and the environment. Initial results of the field testing were very promising with the use of WiltCure resulting in higher yield, and consequently, higher income by our farmers. In the course of developing WiltCure as a new biocontrol agent, it is necessary that multi-location trials be conducted to see if the effectiveness of this product extends not only in one location but in other regions as well. Hence, this project was conducted. 

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