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Effect of inoculum density of Pythium aphanidermatum on the growth and yield of cucumber plants grown in recirculating nutrient film culture

Effect of inoculum density of Pythium aphanidermatum on the growth and yield of cucumber plants grown in recirculating nutrient film culture

Canadian Journal of Plant Pathology 18(1): 50-54

The recirculation of hydroponic nutrient solutions in commercial greenhouses is being considered by cucumber growers to reduce fertilizer use and to alleviate environmental problems that occur when waste nutrient solutions are released into the environment. The potential rapid spread of root pathogens in recirculated solutions is of major concern. We examined the effects of different inoculum densities of Pythium aphanidermatum on disease development in long English cucumber plants grown in recirculating hydroponic culture. Cucumber plants in small recirculating culture systems were inoculated with P. aphanidermatum at levels ranging from 0.22 to 2 times 10-6 colony forming units per 100 L of nutrient solution. Plant growth and productivity were monitored. Pythium aphanidermatum readily spread through the nutrient solutions and caused browning of roots at all inoculum levels. At 2 times 10-6 cfu 100 L-1, all plants died between 7 and 28 days after inoculation. Plants inoculated at low levels of inoculum did not die but showed reduced growth and yield. Negative linear relationships were found between the log (concentration + 1) of inoculum of P. aphanidermatum in the nutrient solutions and the dry weight of the plants, the number and weight of marketable fruit produced per plant, the length of cucumber shelf life, and total fruit life.

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Accession: 002814051

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DOI: 10.1080/07060669609500654

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