The phytotoxic and antimicrobial properties of olive mill wastes have been widely investigated and demonstrated over the past decade. However, their potential utilization as biodegradable pesticides against plant pathogens is still poorly understood. In this study, a series of laboratory bioassays was designed to test the inhibitory effects of sterile water extracts of two-phase olive mill waste (TPOMW) and TPOMW composts with different degrees of stabilization on several different plant pathogens. Fungicidal properties of TPOMW extracts, assayed in a microwell assay format, showed that the growth of Phytophthora capsici was consistently and strongly inhibited by all TPOMW extracts diluted 1:10 (w:v). In contrast, suppression of Pythium ultimum and Botrytis cinerea by the extracts was not as strong and depended on the specific TPOMW sample. Mature compost inhibited P. capsici and B. cinerea at dilutions as great as 1:50, w:v. Neither TPOMW nor TPOMW compost extracts were able to inhibit the growth of the basidiomycete root rot agent Rhizoctonia solani . In addition, studies were conducted on the allelopathic effects of TPOMW extracts on seed germination of four highly invasive and globally distributed weeds ( Amaranthus retroflexus , Solanum nigrum , Chenopodium album and Sorghum halepense ). Both the TPOMW and immature TPOMW compost extracts substantially inhibited germination of A. retroflexus and S. nigrum, whereas mature composts extracts only partially reduced the germination of S. nigrum . Finally, TPOMW extracts strongly inhibited egg hatch and second-stage juvenile (J2) motility of the root-knot nematode Meloidogyne incognita . However, only higher concentrations of stage-one and stage-two TPOMW compost extracts exerted a suppressive effect on both J2 motility and on egg hatch. The study shows the high potential of naturally occurring chemicals present in TPOMW and TPOMW composts that should be further investigated as bio-pesticides for their use in sustainable agricultural systems.
Science of the Total Environment – Elsevier
Published: Jul 25, 2008
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