Seaweed and plant infections
Type of Spiritual Experience
Durvillaea antarctica or Cochayuyo is a large, robust bull kelp species and the dominant seaweed in southern New Zealand and Chile. D. antarctica has a circumpolar distribution between the latitudes of 29°S (in Chile) and 55°S (on Macquarie Island). It is found on exposed shores, especially in the northern parts of its range, and attaches itself with a strong holdfast. D. antarctica, an alga, does not have air bladders, but floats due to a unique honeycomb structure within the alga's blades, which also helps the kelp avoid being damaged by the strong waves.. In Chilean Cuisine, the Durvillaea antarctica (Quechua: cochayuyo : Cocha: Lake, and yuyo: weed) stem and holdfast, known as hulte is used for different recipes, like salads and stews.
Phytophthora cinnamomi is a soil-borne water mould that produces an infection which causes a condition in plants called "root rot" or "dieback". The plant pathogen is one of the world's most invasive species and is present in over 70 countries around the world.
A description of the experience
Mar Drugs. 2011;9(5):739-56. doi: 10.3390/md9050739. Epub 2011 May 3. Anti-phytopathogenic activities of macro-algae extracts. Jiménez E1, Dorta F, Medina C, Ramírez A, Ramírez I, Peña-Cortés H.
Aqueous and ethanolic extracts obtained from nine Chilean marine macro-algae collected at different seasons were examined in vitro and in vivo for properties that reduce the growth of plant pathogens or decrease the injury severity of plant foliar tissues following pathogen infection.
Particular crude aqueous or organic extracts showed effects on the growth of pathogenic bacteria whereas others displayed important effects against pathogenic fungi or viruses, either by inhibiting fungal mycelia growth or by reducing the disease symptoms in leaves caused by pathogen challenge.
Organic extracts obtained from the brown-alga Lessonia trabeculata inhibited bacterial growth and reduced both the number and size of the necrotic lesion in tomato leaves following infection with Botrytis cinerea.
Aqueous and ethanolic extracts from the red-alga Gracillaria chilensis prevent the growth of Phytophthora cinnamomi, showing a response which depends on doses and collecting-time.
Similarly, aqueous and ethanolic extracts from the brown-alga Durvillaea antarctica were able to diminish the damage caused by tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) in tobacco leaves, and the aqueous procedure is, in addition, more effective and seasonally independent. These results suggest that macro-algae contain compounds with different chemical properties which could be considered for controlling specific plant pathogens.
KEYWORDS: Botrytis cinerea; Phytophthora cinnamomi; macro-algae; plant pathogen; tobacco mosaic virus (TMV)