SUMMARY: Calcium peroxide, in a formulation with calcium hydroxide, inhibited the growth of fungi and bacteria in liquid shaken culture. The formulation (‘CaO’) was effective against spore germination, but less so against hyphal growth on solid or liquid media. With the exception of Mucor hiemalis, similar amounts of Ca(OH) alone were not effective; the antimicrobial activity of the formulation depends only partly on its alkalinity. Of the fungi tested, had the greatest peroxidase activity and showed most resistance to ‘CaO’ The production of HO and free radicals by ‘CaO’ may in part account for its action.

‘CaO’ increased overall carbon release from axenic wheat seed, especially at 17 and 21% (v/v) O concentrations, but fructose and glucose exudations were inhibited. Total carbohydrate released was not affected. Sucrose exudation was detected from ‘CaO’-treated seed, but not from untreated seed. The major form of carbon released from seeds was not carbohydrate and possibly originated from the seed coat. Although exudates supported substantial fungal and bacterial growth, the antimicrobial properties of the formulation suggest that it has potential as a plant protection chemical.


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