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Response of Chile Pepper to Phytophthora capsici in Relation to Soil Salinity

February 2004 , Volume 88 , Number  2
Pages  205 - 209

S. Sanogo , Department of Entomology, Plant Pathology, and Weed Science, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces 88003-0003

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Accepted for publication 26 September 2003.

The response of chile pepper to salinity and infection by Phytophthora capsici was assessed under greenhouse conditions in plants susceptible or resistant to P. capsici. Additionally, the effect of salinity on mycelial growth and production of sporangia and zoospores by P. capsici was evaluated in the laboratory. Salinity treatments consisted of varying levels of electrical conductivity (from 1.8 to 14.4 dS/m) achieved by amending irrigation water or growth media with a mixture of sodium chloride and calcium chloride. In plants susceptible to P. capsici, disease severity increased by approximately 1.3 to 2.7-fold with increasing salinity level, whereas no such effect was observed in plants resistant to P. capsici. Mycelial dry weight increased by 8 to 16%, and radial growth of mycelium was augmented by 5 to 30% with increase in salinity level. Production of sporangia and zoospore formation were reduced by approximately 3 to 85 and 1 to 93%, respectively, under saline conditions. These results indicate that salinity may predispose susceptible chile pepper plants to infection by P. capsici.

Additional keywords: Capsicum annuum, Phytophthora root rot

© 2004 The American Phytopathological Society