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Soil conditions and wilt diseases in plants with special reference of Fusar ium vasin-fectum on cotton

Soil conditions and wilt diseases in plants with special reference of Fusar ium vasin-fectum on cotton

Proceedings Indian Acad Science Sect B 31(2): 67-102

F. vasinfectum made no growth in unsterilized soils; it was attacked and decomposed by antagonistic organisms, especially bacteria. The exptl. results suggest that the inability of F. vasinfectum to grow in unsterilized soil is due primarily to microbial antagonism rather than to inhibition by soil CO2. Under ordinary conditions the persistence of F. vasinfectum in soil was limited by micro-organisms and favored by lack of moisture and by excessive moisture. It persisted for more than 2 yrs. under sterile conditions. Its disappearance from soil was particularly hastened under a wide range of moisture conditions (30-80%, especially at 30%), by fairly high temp. (28-30[degree]C), by forced aeration, and by addition of stable manure. Fusarium is a primary and dominant colonizer of various plant parts buried in moist "wiltsick" soils from Udamalpet (s. India); invariably it continued as a dominant colonizer of root fragments for a period of 16 wks. The unlimited saprophytic potentialities of F. vasinfectum are considered sufficient to justify its inclusion in the class of true soil fungi or soil inhabitants. Fusarium colonization on cotton roots was partially or completely inhibited by absence of moisture, water-logging, low temp. and organic manuring; under all other conditions colonization took place to a greater or less degree, and it was favored by addition of lime to the soil. F. vasinfectum was able to colonize cotton root fragments irrespective of their size or the presence of microflora already present. Fusarium colonization in soils under different crops was not appreciably affected by the nature of the crop. No correlation was found between the relative colonizing capacity of Fusarium and other fungi in soils collected at different seasons. Expts. using "wilt-sick" soil from 3 plots (cotton, Setaria and onion), collected at different depths, showed that Fusarium had a vertical distr. in soil extending down to 36 inches. Details are given of the succession of fungi decomposing cotton roots buried in Udamalpet "wilt-sick" soil (a) collected at different periods of the yr., and (b) in the presence of certain organic and inorganic amendments.

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