Possible explanations of synergism in fungicide mixtures against Phytophthom infestans



Single foliar sprays of oxadixyl, mancozeb or cymoxanil alone or the mixtures oxadixyl/mancozeb and oxadixyl/cymoxanil were applied to tomato plants (cv. Baby) one day before inoculating with a sensitive or a phenylamide-resistant strain of Phytophthora infestans. Fungicide mixtures were far more effective in controlling both sensitive and resistant strains compared to the individual components alone, representing significant levels of synergistic interactions. When analysed by the Abbott method, synergy ratios continuously decreased with increasing amounts of fungicides in the mixture. All fungicide mixtures showed higher synergy ratios against resistant strains when using the Abbott method, whereas only mixtures containing cymoxanil showed this phenomenon when using the Wadley method for interpretation of interactions. Synergism significantly decreased when the components were used as foliar split applications with intervals of 48 and 72 h. A combination of a drench application of oxadixyl and a single spray application of mancozeb or cymoxanil resulted in a high level of synergism. The explanation of synergism may be that the exposure of sporangia to sublethal concentrations of one fungicide affects them to an extent that sublethal doses of the other fungicide becomes detrimental.