The Use of Antioxidants to Control Root Rot and Wilt Diseases of Pepper
Ten isolates of Fusarium spp. were isolated from pepper plants collected from different locations in New Valley Governorate, Egypt. Fusarium solani isolate FP2 and F. oxysporum isolate FP4 were highly pathogenic isolates but the other isolates moderate or less pathogenic to pepper plants (cv. 'Anaheim-M'). The four antioxidant compounds (coumaric acid, citric acid, propylgalate and salicylic acid each at 100 and 200 ppm) were evaluated for their in vitro and in vivo agonist to Fusarium pathogenic isolates caused root rot and wilt diseases in pepper plants. All tested antioxidant compounds reduced damping-off, root rot/wilt and area under root rot/wilt progress curve when used as seed soaking, seedling soaking, and soil drench especially at 200 ppm under greenhouse and field conditions compared with untreated plants. All chemicals increased fresh and dry weight of seedling grown in soil drenching or seed treatment with any antioxidants. At the same time, all tested chemicals significantly increase plant growth parameters i.e plant length, plant branching, and total yield per plant in case of seedling soaking or soil drench. In general, propylgalate at 200 ppm was more efficient in reducing infection with damping-off, root rot and wilt diseases as well as increasing the seedling fresh weight, dry weight, plant length, plant branching, number of pod plant-1 and pod yield plant-1. On the other hand, all tested antioxidants had less or no effect on mycelial dry weight and mycelial leaner growth. On the contrary, all chemicals much reduced spore formation in both Fusarium species at 100 or 200 ppm and the inhibitory effect of antioxidants increased with increasing their concentrations.
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