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Response of some chickpea cultivars to foliar, seed and soil inoculations with Botrytis cinerea

Response of some chickpea cultivars to foliar, seed and soil inoculations with Botrytis cinerea

Phytopathologia Mediterranea 49(3): 275-286

Twenty-four cultivars of chickpea were evaluated for their susceptibility to the grey mould fungus Botrytis cinema using foliar, seed and soil inoculation at 2, 4 and 8 g fungus per plant, per kg seed or per kg soil. At 8 g the inoculum caused necrotic lesions to all 24 cultivars with foliar inoculation, to 23 cultivars except cv. CH-2007-22 with seed inoculation and to 17 cultivars with soil inoculation, and reduced yield by 7-43% (foliar inoculation), 3-34% (seed inoculation) and 3-26% (soil inoculation). Foliar or seed inoculation with 4 g of the fungus significantly reduced the yield of all cultivars tested except CH-2007-22 with foliar inoculation, and 4 cultivars with seed inoculation. Soil inoculation at 4 g fungus kg(-1) soil, significantly reduced the yield of eight cultivars. Foliar and seed inoculations at 2 g of the fungus significantly reduced the yield of 16 and 7 cultivars of chickpea respectively; but soil inoculation at this concentration, did not significantly reduce yield in any cultivar. The greatest significant decline in yield was recorded with foliar inoculation in the cv. BG-256, 43% at 8 g, 40% at 4 g and 26% at 2 g inoculum level. The cv. CH-2007-22 was tolerant to B. cinerea as it exhibited only 3-7% yield loss at 8 g inoculum. The fungal population, especially that on the phylloplane, increased exponentially from January to March and declined drastically in April. At the high inoculum level of 8 g fungus kg(-1) soil, B. cinerea may initiate infection through the soil. There was a positive correlation between disease severity and yield decline, and a disease severity above 2 significantly reduced yield.

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