Managing Albugo candida in Production Nurseries


White blister, caused by Albugo candida, is a challenging fungal disease affecting vegetable seedlings in production nurseries. It spreads through soil and wind, making it essential to adopt a holistic approach for effective management. This guide outlines chemical applications, Integrated Pest Management (IPM), and organic inputs to combat this disease, along with potential new technologies on the horizon.

1. Chemical Applications

Systemic Fungicides:

  • Azoxystrobin: A broad-spectrum fungicide used as a soil drench.
  • Metalaxyl-M (Mefenoxam): Targets oomycetes like Albugo candida, applied through irrigation.
  • Fosetyl-Al (Aluminium tris): Provides systemic protection and boosts plant resistance, used as a foliar spray or soil drench.

Contact Fungicides:

  • Chlorothalonil: A broad-spectrum fungicide applied as a foliar spray.
  • Copper-based Fungicides: Effective against many fungal diseases, used as a foliar spray.

Best Practices for Chemical Applications:

  • Timing: Apply at early signs of infection or as a preventive measure during high-risk periods.
  • Rotation: Rotate fungicides with different modes of action to prevent resistance.
  • Dosage: Follow recommended dosages and intervals to ensure effectiveness.

2. Integrated Pest Management (IPM)

Cultural Practices:

  • Crop Rotation: Prevents build-up of Albugo candida spores in the soil.
  • Sanitation: Clean tools, trays, and equipment regularly. Remove infected plant debris promptly.
  • Spacing: Ensure proper plant spacing for better air circulation.

Biological Control:

  • Beneficial Microorganisms: Use Trichoderma spp., Bacillus subtilis, and Pseudomonas fluorescens as soil drenches or foliar sprays.
  • Predatory Insects: Introduce ladybugs, lacewings, and predatory mites to control insect pests.

Physical Controls:

  • Shade Netting: Adjust to manage light and humidity levels.
  • Windbreaks: Plant around the nursery to reduce wind speed and trap spores.

Monitoring and Early Detection:

  • Regular Inspections: Detect early signs of white blister.
  • Sensors: Use IoT sensors to monitor humidity, temperature, and wind speed.

3. Organic Inputs

Natural Antifungal Treatments:

  • Neem Oil: Contains azadirachtin with antifungal and insecticidal properties. Apply as a foliar spray.
  • Garlic Extract: Rich in sulfur compounds with antifungal properties. Use as a foliar spray or soil drench.
  • Chitosan: A natural biopolymer with antifungal properties, applied as a foliar spray.

Organic Soil Amendments:

  • Compost: Improves soil health and microbial activity.
  • Biochar: Enhances soil structure, nutrient retention, and beneficial microbial populations.

Beneficial Microorganisms:

  • Mycorrhizal Fungi: Enhance nutrient uptake and overall plant health.
  • Paenibacillus polymyxa: Produces antimicrobial substances and promotes plant growth.

Implementation and Monitoring

  1. Preparation and Application:

    • Select appropriate chemicals, IPM practices, and organic inputs.
    • Prepare formulations and apply treatments as per protocols.
  2. Monitoring and Data Collection:

    • Regularly monitor plant health, environmental conditions, and disease incidence.
    • Collect data on treatment effectiveness.
  3. Analysis and Optimisation:

    • Analyse data to identify the most effective treatments.
    • Optimise application methods and schedules.

Future Technological Solutions

As we look ahead, several potential new technologies could further revolutionise the management of Albugo candida:

  • Advanced Nanotechnology: Development of smart nanoparticles that release antifungal agents in response to specific environmental triggers.
  • CRISPR/Cas9 Gene Editing: Creating genetically modified plants with enhanced resistance to Albugo candida.
  • IoT-Enabled Automated Systems: Enhanced AI systems that integrate data from multiple sensors for real-time decision-making and automated responses.
  • Electromagnetic Field Treatment: Using low-frequency electromagnetic fields to inhibit fungal growth and promote plant health.
  • Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment: Treating seeds or seedlings with high oxygen levels to kill fungal spores before planting.


Managing Albugo candida in production nurseries requires a comprehensive approach that integrates chemical applications, IPM, and organic inputs. By combining these strategies, nurseries can effectively control white blister, promote plant health, and ensure sustainable practices. Continuous monitoring and adaptation of these methods, along with the exploration of emerging technologies, will help maintain their effectiveness and reduce the impact of Albugo candida on vegetable seedlings.

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