A UV-C light that kills fungi, bacteria and viruses. Mainly used in glasshouses, it has recently been adapted for field grown potatoes, controlling powdery and downy mildew and Phytophthora. The technology is useable in wet conditions and until harvesting.
How it Works
Fungi have evolved light sensing systems which they use to control their development. They also have a system which repairs DNA damaged by daytime exposure to natural UV light, which in powdery mildew, they shut down at night. By exposing powdery mildew infected plants to small amounts of UV at night, the pathogen is killed.
The team at Cornell University have defined UV wavelengths and doses for a variety of crop-infecting powdery mildew species. In addition, they have found that plant pre-treatment with UV light also activates natural resistance to infection by permanently boosting overall plant defences against pathogens.
Farmer / Agronomist benefits
This is another simple technology to support and optimise fungicide use in certain crops and optimize costs.