Ozone Biocidal Properties and Stimulation of Trichoderma harzianum (Strain T- 22) When Applied in Combination as an Environmentally Benign Alternative for Methyl BromideEPA Contract Number: 68D99035
Title: Ozone Biocidal Properties and Stimulation of Trichoderma harzianum (Strain T- 22) When Applied in Combination as an Environmentally Benign Alternative for Methyl Bromide
Investigators: Hayes, Christopher K.
Small Business: BioWorks Inc.
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Project Period: September 1, 1999 through March 1, 2000
Project Amount: $70,000
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (1999) RFA Text | Recipients Lists
Research Category: SBIR - Pollution Prevention , Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)
Description:Methyl bromide use is rapidly being phased out in agriculture, largely due to suspected deleterious long-term effects on the environment. The search for viable, safe alternatives has created many potential options; however, nothing yet is comparable costwise or with similar efficacy. Ozone is a gas with biocidal properties that can cheaply be mass- produced and injected directly into the soil or into existing drip irrigation systems. Ozone controls many pathogens and nematodes and requires no federal registration. Trichoderma harzianum strain T-22 is a commercially available, EPA-registered biofungicide with growth enhancement qualities. When applied separately, the individual products do not perform to standards associated with methyl bromide. However, research has shown that when applied together, the two products act synergistically to improve disease control and yield performance in crops like strawberries, where extensive methyl bromide use occurs. The objective of this research is to evaluate the potential economical and efficacious rates of ozone when combined with selected rates of T-22 granules for controlling Verticillium species in strawberries and on crop quality and yield performance.
Based on preliminary results, the success of the anticipated research is high. Years of previous research support the biocontrol and growth stimulation associated with T. harzianum strain T-22. The biocidal properties of ozone, combined with the subsequent biostimulation of strain T-22, an aggressive root colonizer, will give growers an environmentally benign and commercially acceptable soil fumigation and disease control program. In addition, the crop growth stimulation associated with T-22 will offer growers added yield and quality benefits. Commercialization of this anticipated program for a methyl bromide substitute in many crops and situations can be achieved easily with the two existing companies. Equipment to produce ozone is readily available, and ozone can be produced onsite via generators that are leased to agricultural chemical applicators familiar with current methyl bromide technology.