Effect of Various Soil Media on Disease Severity of Fusarium Wilt in Watermelon

Geoffrey Meru, Cecilia McGregor
2020 American Journal of Plant Sciences  
Fusarium wilt is a major disease of watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) caused by Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. niveum (Fon). Use of host resistance is the most effective management strategy for the disease, and a major objective for breeding programs. Screening assays rely on the ability to discriminate resistant and susceptible genotypes in segregating populations. However, complex interactions between Fon and the soil environment can influence symptom development and disease severity rating. In the
more » ... ty rating. In the current study, severity of Fusarium wilt (race 1) in sand-peat (1:1 v/v), sand-perlite (1:1), sand-peat-vermiculite (4:1:1), peat-perlite (1:1) and Fafard 3B potting media was compared among five watermelon cultivars: Calhoun Gray (resistant), SunSugar (resistant), Allsweet (moderately resistant), Sugar Baby (susceptible) and Charleston Gray (susceptible). Plant biomass (average dry weight/plant) was lowest in peat-perlite (1.67 g) and sand-peat (2.16 g), and was significantly different (α = 0.05) from that of sand-perlite (3.48 g), sand-peat-vermiculite (4.94 g) and Fafard 3B (6.90 g). Conversely, disease severity [area under disease progress curve (AUDPC)] across cultivars was significantly higher in peat-perlite (AUDPC = 62.96) and sand-peat (AUDPC = 40.87), than in sand-perlite (AUDPC = 11.55), sand-peat-vermiculite (AUDPC = 10.67) and Fafard 3B (AUDPC = 9.29). Consistent discrimination (α = 0.05) of resistant and susceptible cultivars was realized in sand-peat-vermiculite and Fafard 3B, but was not possible in peat-perlite, sand-peat and sand-perlite. Collectively, these findings support suitability of sand-peat-vermiculite and Fafard 3B for routine screening of Fusarium wilt resistance in watermelon.
doi:10.4236/ajps.2020.1112135 fatcat:eg7nyqjxw5eutlytiakjjdugtu