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The Relationship Between Hollow Heart of Pea and Seed Electrolyte Loss, Disease Susceptibility, and Plant Growth. C. M. Rush, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center, P.O. Box 30, Prosser, WA 99350, Present address: Texas Agricultural Experiment Station, P.O. Drawer 10, Bushland, TX 79012; Phytopathology 77:1533-1536. Accepted for publication 29 April 1987. This article is in the public domain and not copyrightable. It may be freely reprinted with customary crediting of the source. The American Phytopathological Society, 1987. DOI: 10.1094/Phyto-77-1533.

The effects of hollow heart of pea on seed electrolyte loss, seedling growth, and susceptibility to Fusarium solani f. sp. pisi and Pythium ultimum were studied. Linear regression analysis of hollow heart severity and mean electroconductivity (EC) readings for seed in each hollow heart category were highly correlated in 12 pea cultivars. All regressions were significant at P< 0.001. EC readings for healthy seed varied considerably among varieties, but healthy seed averaged 36 μ amps less than seed with severe hollow heart. When seed were separated into EC categories of 2550, 5565, 7090, and 91200 μ amps, there was a highly significant relationship (P< 0.001) between plant growth parameters and EC category. When a second set of seed was divided into the same EC categories and then evaluated for degree of hollow heart, only the most severely affected seed were in the highest EC category. Separation of seed into severity categories is essential for obtaining consistent results on growth responses to hollow heart. Severe hollow heart increased susceptibility to root pathogens but not enough to affect seedling growth.

Additional keywords: electrical conductivity, physiological disease, Pisum sativum, predisposition, root rot, seedling vigor.