Department of Plant Pathology, Faculty of Agriculture, Annamalai University, Annamalai Nagar - 608 002, Tamil Nadu, India

Background and objectives
With increased awareness of the non-target effect of different synthetic chemicals used in plant disease control, the search for some natural source of alternative chemical control measures is urgently needed. Recently, the fungitoxic potential of buffalo urine to some soilborne pathogens has been demonstrated (1]. The present investigation was therefore undertaken to test the in vitro efficacy of some of the animal products against Rhizoctonia solani, the causal agent of sheath blight of rice.

Materials and methods
Locally available animal products, dung, urine and milk, were collected. For the cold water extract, the dung of various animals was soaked in water at ca 5 ml/g, kept overnight (below 15C) and filtered. In the case of hot water extract, the materials were heated over a water bath at 80C for 10 min and filtered. For urine and milk, fresh materials were collected and subjected to study as such. Dung extracts alone were subjected to low-speed centrifugation at 5000 r.p.m. for 20 min and the clear supernatants were heated to 50C for 10 min to avoid any contamination. The antifungal effect was evaluated [2].

Results and conclusions
Water extracts of dung of hamster and turkey, hen litter, urine of sheep, goat, bull and buffalo at 20% concentration were recorded for total inhibition of the mycelial growth and sclerotial production of R. solani. The extracts were on par with carbendazim (0.05%). More than 80% inhibition of the mycelial growth was recorded with dung of horse, buffalo, rabbit (cold water) and cow (cold and hot water). Animal milk stimulated the mycelial growth of the fungus, but interestingly the sclerotial production was totally inhibited. Such control measures would be more practicable and economical, and safer for both consumers and the natural environment due to the readily biodegradable nature.

1. Raja J, Kurucheve V, Senthil Kumar R, 1997. Proceedings Indian Phytopathological Society International Conference. lntegrated Plant Disease Management for Sustainable Agriculture, Abstract, pp. 297.
2. Raja J, Kurucheve V, 1997. Plant Disease Research 11, 11-14.