Bresov Practice Abstract - Harmful seed-borne plant pathogens (present in/on the seed), can be the source of infection on the crops that originated from infected seeds. The use of healthy seed is therefore a very important tool for the success of the crop. Seed treatment aims at reducing/inactivating the inoculum of seed-borne pathogens or indirectly improve plant defence response using a mechanism known as biopriming.

In organic farming, where chemical solutions cannot be applied, products based on microbial consortia (MCs) and natural compounds (NCs) are currently being studied as sustainable alternative. In order to preserve their activity, products containing MCs and NCs need to be stored using correct procedures normally provided by the manufacturer.

In fact, MCs and NCs are natural ingredients which are normally in nature and are susceptible to temperature, humidity, oxidation and UV exposure. Formulations provide a very high degree of conservation when the products are kept in a dry, cool place not exposed to the sun. Once opened, products should be used rapidly as oxygen will interact with NCs and promote MCs growth. If the products derived from NCs are usually stable, the MCs must be stored away from extreme temperatures (optimal range from 10-30 ° C). When using compounds such as MCs and NCs for an application on seeds, products should be diluted in water, at the doses recommended by the manufacturer. Seed dressing should be carried out by soaking the seeds in the MC suspension/NC solution. The recommended volume used is about 10 times the volume of seeds, in order to completely cover them. After 10 minutes shaking to ensure a uniform distribution, the seeds need to be left to dry on absorbent paper. It is recommended to sow the seeds within 24 hours of the seed dressing in order to maintain unaltered the NCs characteristics and MCs vitality during the first stages of germination.

Ferdinando Branca, Giulio Flavio Rizzo, Vincent Lefebvre du Prey