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Studies on the root-rot disease of Cotton in the Punjab. X. Effect of certain fungi on the growth of root-rot fungi


Studies on the root-rot disease of Cotton in the Punjab. X. Effect of certain fungi on the growth of root-rot fungi



Indian J. agric. Sci 11(3): 422-431



In further studies at the Lyallpur (Punjab) Agricultural Research Institute on the root rot of cotton caused by Macrophomina phaseoli and Rhizoctonia solani, all the carbohydrates tested, viz., maltose, glucose, sucrose, lactose, galactose, dextrin, and soluble starch, supported fairly abundant growth of both fungi, agar media being more favourable than liquid substrata both for growth and for rapid acidification, which does not occur, however, in the case of M. phaseoli, when lactose or galactose provide the source of carbon. Floating cultures on a liquid synthetic medium grew almost as quickly as those on agar, whereas in submerged cultures development was slow and acidification retarded. A depressing effect on growth and delay in acidification was farther exerted on both fungi by carbon dioxide at concentrations of 20 per cent. and upwards, C. solani being the more sensitive of the two in this respect, while M. phaseoli reacted similarly to an atmosphere of pure oxygen; on the other hand, pure nitrogen and a 50: 50 mixture of nitrogen and oxygen did not appreciably inhibit growth or retard acidification. None of the large number of native and foreign varieties and strains of cotton tested from 1937 to 1939 for their reaction to the root-rotting pathogens gave evidence of any significant degree of resistance, while selfed seeds of apparently healthy individuals in infected plots did not give rise to resistant plants. The presence of Trichoderma lignorum and Aspergillus niger in cultures of M. phaseoli and C. solani on various synthetic and natural media greatly restricted the growth of the cotton root rot fungi, the hyphae of which undergo lysis on coming into contact with those of the inhibitors. The activity of filtrates of M. phaseoli and C. solani was likewise reduced by the admixture of T. viride and A. niger with the cultures, the times required for the wilting of plants by nitrates of T. viride + M. phaseoli, T. viride + C. solani, A. niger + M. phaseoli, and A. niger + C. solani being 270, 270, 300, and 300 minutes, respectively, compared with 180 and 60, respectively, for M. phaseoli and C. solani alone.

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