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Mechanism of Broccoli-Mediated Verticillium Wilt Reduction in Cauliflower

March 2000 , Volume 90 , Number  3
Pages  305 - 310

K. G. Shetty , K. V. Subbarao , O. C. Huisman , and J. C. Hubbard

First, second, and fourth authors: Department of Plant Pathology, University of California, Davis, c/o United States Agricultural Research Station, 1636 E. Alisal Street, Salinas 93905; and third author: Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management, Division of Insect Biology, University of California, Berkeley 94720

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Accepted for publication 29 November 1999.

Broccoli is resistant to Verticillium dahliae infection and does not express wilt symptoms. Incorporation of broccoli residues reduces soil populations of V. dahliae. The effects of broccoli residue were tested on the colonization of roots by V. dahliae, plant growth response, and disease incidence of both broccoli and cauliflower in soils with different levels of V. dahliae inoculum and with or without fresh broccoli residue amendments. The three soils included a low-Verticillium soil, a high-Verticillium soil, and a broccoli-rotation soil (soil from a field after two broccoli crops) with an average of 13, 38, and below-detectable levels of microsclerotia per g of soil, respectively. Cauliflower plants in broccoli-amended high-Verticillium soil had significantly (P ≤ 0.05) lower wilt incidence and severity than did plants in unamended soil. An immunohistochemical staining assay utilizing a monoclonal antibody specific to V. dahliae was used to determine colonization of the root cortex. Despite the absence of wilt symptoms, broccoli roots were colonized by V. dahliae. In high-Verticillium soil, the broccoli residue amendment caused a marked reduction in colonization rate of V. dahliae per unit of inoculum on both cauliflower and broccoli roots. In addition to its detrimental effects on the viability of microsclerotia in soil, broccoli residue may also have an inhibitory effect on the root-colonizing potential of surviving microsclerotia.

Additional keywords: crucifer residue, cultural control, root colonization.

© 2000 The American Phytopathological Society