In Focus: Four Questions With Dante Brunetti

1. Florida Grower (FLG):What is systemic acquired resistance in plants, and why is it important?

Brunetti: Systemic acquired resistance (SAR) is a phenomenon whereby the plant is induced to manufacture greater-than-normal amounts of defensive substances that would include proteins such as chitinases, glucanases, defensins, peroxidases, etc. (collectively termed pathogenesis-related proteins). In simple terms (and grossly understated), for example, when KeyPlex 350 is applied to a citrus tree, it elicits defense mechanisms, e.g., the salicylic acid response that will, in turn, induce the tree to produce higher levels of pathogenesis-related proteins. These defensive proteins can be enzymes that fend off diseases, and perhaps some insects. Because KeyPlex has no direct inhibitory or toxic effect on plant pathogens, it doesn’t promote resistance in the pest, whether it is a pathogen or insect pest.

2. FLG: What role do biological elicitors such as alpha-keto acids play in plant defenses?

Brunetti: Elicitors trigger plant defensive mechanisms. Different elicitors trigger different defenses. In nature, plant defenses can be passive (for example, cell walls and cuticle) and active (enzymes such as chitinases that directly attack chitin-containing pathogens). Many of the active defenses are triggered by pathogen-infection processes that are sensed by the plant. Elicitors contained in KeyPlex materials can turn on these active defense mechanisms so that the plants have a higher level of defense. It is important to use elicitors in combination with plant nutrients such as those found in KeyPlex.

3. FLG: How has the demand for products with good environmental profiles grown in recent years?

Brunetti: Government regulation fueled by public sentiment has created a demand for safer, eco-friendly agrichemicals, be they fertilizers or crop protection chemicals. The grower, too, must be satisfied that the input to his crop is safe for the consumer and the environment. In the descriptive verbiage of its approval of KeyPlex 350 in the Federal Register, the EPA used key words such as, “safe,” “biodegradable,” “non-toxic,” etc.

4. FLG: Has the market for plant nutritionals been hit by volatility like the markets for N, P, and K?

Brunetti: In a word, yes. Two primary factors worked in concert to force the price of plant nutritional supplements to escalate. First, there was an unprecedented spike in the cost of raw materials as China’s seemingly insatiable need for metallic salts increased in the months prior to the 2008 Summer Olympics. Second, as petroleum prices rose in late 2007 and most of 2008, this helped the cost of raw materials to rise, but it also caused the price of plastic containers to climb steadily through the period in question. This was a situation that kept manufacturers, blenders, and growers off balance as prices changed almost daily.

Leave a Reply

Featured Stories
Photo by Frank Giles
Citrus
December 9, 2016
Latest Florida Citrus Crop Forecast Runs Flat
Despite crop protection challenges, all-orange production projection from USDA remains unchanged. Read More
Buckeye® Prime is a beautiful mutation of the original Buckeye® Gala with a brighter cherry-red color and much heavier striping. Buckeye® Prime retains the original Buckeye ability to color in hot climates. Buckeye® Prime is virtually 100% red with a bold, darker-red stripe and the same ability as its parent to produce high-quality, beautiful apples. USPP 24,639
Fruits
December 9, 2016
Summit Tree Sales 2017 Variety Showcase [Slideshow]
Summit Tree Sales in Lawrence, MI, presents an early apple for the fresh market, early-to-mid-season cherries, a sweet freestone peach, and more. Read More
Knox Medical medicinal cannabis product display
Citrus
December 8, 2016
A Look Inside Florida’s Newest Cannabis Cultivation Facility
Given the official go-ahead to dispense alternative medicine, Knox Medical unveils its state-of-the-art lab. Read More
Scarlet Crush™
Our new Honeycrisp/Pink Lady® cross is sweet with citrusy notes, plus all that famous Honeycrisp snap and juiciness. Up to to 3” pink/rosy-red fruit is uniform, conical and very attractive. A fine cooking and fresh-eating apple. Keeps up to 6 months. Ripens as early as late September. USPPAF. Best pollinators: Starkspur® Red Rome Beauty, Stark® Jon-A-Red® Jonathan or any Golden Delicious. Zones: 3-6.
Fruits
December 8, 2016
Stark Bro’s Nurseries & Orchards Co. 2017 Variety Showcase [Slideshow]
For more information on these varieties, contact Stark Bro’s Nurseries & Orchards. Stark Bro’s Nurseries & Orchards P.O. Box 398 Read More
Past industry efforts to discover Paradox hybrid seedlings (Juglans hindsii x J. regia) with superior traits have led to advanced selections of Paradox clones, each with unique characteristics. The University of California selection, RX 1, is a top-choice for Sacramento Valley walnut orchardists and others looking for resistance to Phytopthora and good survivability. RX 1 is a cross of Juglans microcarpa x J. regia. It is showing to be one of the most adaptable walnut rootstocks, producing a large tree with the highest yields in replicated trials. USPP#20,649 P3
Fruits
December 7, 2016
Sierra Gold Nursery 2017 Variety Showcase [Slideshow]
Sierra Gold Nurseries in Yuba City, CA, offers two walnut rootstocks, a salt-tolerant pistachio rootstock, and more. Read More
Action shot of an automated strawberry picker from Harvest CROO
Equipment
December 6, 2016
USDA Announces $3 Million For Robotic Agriculture Research
More evidence being found about how people can benefit from automation in the field. Read More
billevans
Apple Grower of the Year
December 6, 2016
2014 Apple Grower Of The Year Bill Evans Dies
Legendary apple grower Bill Evans, who along with his wife, Jeannette, farmed more apple acreage than any grower in the Read More
weedy watermelon field
Crop Protection
December 6, 2016
New Fact Sheet Analyzes Weed Seeds And Their Longevity
Topics covered include how weed seeds travel, when they germinate, and ways they can be eliminated. Read More
Field trials are one component being used to evaluate water and nitrogen use efficiency in lettuce.  A wide array of germplasm is being screened including cultivars of leaf, romaine, iceberg and butter types, mapping populations and non-domesticated primitive types and wild lettuce species.   Photo credit: David Still
Crop Protection
December 6, 2016
Scientists Aim To Improve Nitrogen, Water Use Efficiency In Lettuce
Genetic research intends to develop varieties with enhanced nutrient uptake. Read More
Cannabis plant closeup
Citrus
December 6, 2016
Report: Florida Cannabis Business To Approach $2 Billion By 2020
Lofty projections include a compound annual growth rate of 140%. Read More
The Latest
Citrus
December 9, 2016
Latest Florida Citrus Crop Forecast Runs…
Despite crop protection challenges, all-orange production projection from USDA remains unchanged. Read More
Fruits
December 9, 2016
Summit Tree Sales 2017 Variety Showcase …
Summit Tree Sales in Lawrence, MI, presents an early apple for the fresh market, early-to-mid-season cherries, a sweet freestone peach, and more. Read More
Citrus
December 8, 2016
A Look Inside Florida’s Newest Cannabis …
Given the official go-ahead to dispense alternative medicine, Knox Medical unveils its state-of-the-art lab. Read More
Fruits
December 8, 2016
Stark Bro’s Nurseries & Orchards Co.…
For more information on these varieties, contact Stark Bro’s Nurseries & Orchards. Stark Bro’s Nurseries & Orchards P.O. Box 398 Read More
Fruits
December 7, 2016
Sierra Gold Nursery 2017 Variety Showcas…
Sierra Gold Nurseries in Yuba City, CA, offers two walnut rootstocks, a salt-tolerant pistachio rootstock, and more. Read More
Equipment
December 6, 2016
USDA Announces $3 Million For Robotic Ag…
More evidence being found about how people can benefit from automation in the field. Read More
Apple Grower of the Year
December 6, 2016
2014 Apple Grower Of The Year Bill Evans…
Legendary apple grower Bill Evans, who along with his wife, Jeannette, farmed more apple acreage than any grower in the Read More
Crop Protection
December 6, 2016
New Fact Sheet Analyzes Weed Seeds And T…
Topics covered include how weed seeds travel, when they germinate, and ways they can be eliminated. Read More
Crop Protection
December 6, 2016
Scientists Aim To Improve Nitrogen, Wate…
Genetic research intends to develop varieties with enhanced nutrient uptake. Read More
Citrus
December 6, 2016
Report: Florida Cannabis Business To App…
Lofty projections include a compound annual growth rate of 140%. Read More
Citrus
December 6, 2016
Florida Citrus Community Tasked To Unify…
A group effort is necessary to forge ahead. Read More
Crop Protection
December 6, 2016
Orondis Opti Fungicide Receives Registra…
The product provides control of Oomycete diseases in vegetables and other specialty crops. Read More
Fruits
December 6, 2016
Fowler Nurseries, Inc. 2017 Variety Show…
For more information on these varieties, contact Fowler Nurseries, Inc. Fowler Nurseries, Inc. 525 Fowler Rd. Newcastle, CA 9565827 Phone: Read More
Vegetables
December 6, 2016
Rupp Seeds 2016 Vegetable Variety Showca…
For more information, contact, Rupp Seeds: 17919 County Rd. B, Wauseon, OH 43567 800-700-1199; WEBSITE www.RuppSeeds.com FAX 419-337-5491; EMAIL [email protected] Read More
Farm Marketing
December 6, 2016
Registration Is Open For 32nd Annual Nor…
The six-day event for agritourism operators heads to the Northeast with highlights including bus tours, educational sessions and workshops, and business exchange. Read More
Insect & Disease Update
December 5, 2016
Best Practices For Bactericides Key To V…
Approval finally cleared for antimicrobial applications, and now growers wait and hope to see positive results. Read More
Citrus
December 5, 2016
South Florida Endures Driest November On…
Region has not experienced any significant rainfall since Hurricane Matthew. Read More
Fruits
December 5, 2016
Fall Creek Nursery 2017 Variety Showcase…
For information about these varieties, contact Fall Creek Nursery: Fall Creek Nursery 39318 Jasper Lowell Road Lowell, OR 97452 800-538-30015 [email protected] Read More