Development of ascochyta blight (Ascochyta rabiei) in chickpea as affected by host resistance and plant age
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Ascochyta blight caused by Ascochyta rabiei, is the most destructive disease in many chickpea growing countries. Disease development varies with the growth stage and host resistance. Hence, disease development was studied in cvs ICCX 810800 (resistant), ICCV 90201 (moderately resistant), C 235 (moderately susceptible), ICCV 96029 and Pb 7 (susceptible) under controlled environment (ICRISAT, Patencheru) and field conditions (Dhaulakuan, Himachal Pradesh) at seedling, post-seedling, vegetative, flowering and podding stages. Under controlled environment, the incubation period and terminal disease reaction (TDR) did not vary significantly at different growth stages against virulent isolate AB 4. Cultivars ICCX 810800, ICCV 90201 and C 235 showed a significantly longer incubation period than the susceptible cv. Pb 7. Cultivar ICCX 810800 showed slow disease progress and the least TDR. Field experiments were conducted during the 2003–2004 and 2004–2005 growing seasons. During 2003–2004, TDR was higher in plants inoculated at podding and the flowering stage and the lowest disease reaction was recorded in ICCX 810800. A severe epidemic during 2004–2005 was attributed to the favourable temperature, humidity and well distributed high rainfall. TDR did not differ significantly at any of the growth stages in susceptible cvs ICCV 96029 and Pb 7. With respect to seeding date and cultivar, the highest yield was recorded in the early-sown crop (1,276.7 kg ha−1) and in ICCV 90201 (1,799.3 kg ha−1), respectively. The yields were greatly reduced in all the cultivars during 2004–2005 and the highest yield was recorded in ICCX 810800 (524.7 kg ha−1). Integrated disease management using resistant cultivars, optimum sowing period and foliar application of fungicides will improve chickpea production. The experiment under controlled environment and field conditions (during the epidemic year) showed a similar disease development.
KeywordsAscochyta rabiei Cicer arietinum Disease dynamics Plant growth stage Resistance
Asian Development Bank is greatly acknowledged for providing financial support to Dr. Ashwani K. Basandrai for undertaking part of this study at ICRISAT, Patencheru, as a visiting scientist.
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