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Since the protective activity of the Bordeaux mixture against plant disease caused by oomycetes was discovered, copper compounds have been used for more than a century as an effective plant protection strategy. However, the application of excessive copper can cause adverse effects through long-term heavy metal accumulation in soils. Therefore, it is necessary to develop new strategies to reduce or replace copper in pesticides based on organic and low-input farming systems. Organic acids are eco-friendly. In this study, we tested the antifungal and anti-oomycete activity of maleic acid (MA) and copper sulfate (CS) against 13 plant pathogens. Treatment with a mixture of MA and CS showed strong anti-oomycetes activity against Phytophthora xcambivora, P. capsici, and P. cinnamomi. Moreover, the concentration of CS in the activated mixture of MA and CS was lower than that in the activated CS only, and the mixture showed synergy or partial synergy effects on the anti-oomycete activity. Application of a wettable powder formulation of MA and CS mixture (MCS 30WP; 26.67% MA and 3.33% CS) had excellent protective activity in pot experiments with control values of 73% Phytophthora blight on red pepper, 91% damping-off on cucumber, and 84% Pythium blight on creeping bentgrass, which are similar to those of the CS wettable powder formulation (6.67% CS) containing two times the CS content of MCS 30WP. These observations suggest that the synergistic effect of the MA and CS combination is a sustainable alternative for effective management of destructive oomycete diseases.


Jehyeong Yeon, Ae Ran Park, Hang Thi Thu Nguyen, Hanna Gwak, Jiwon Kim, Mee Kyung Sang, Jin-Cheol Kim. Inhibition of Oomycetes by the Mixture of Maleic Acid and Copper Sulfate. Plant disease. 2022 Mar;106(3):960-965

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PMID: 34705489

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