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High Potassium, Calcium, and Nitrogen Application Reduce Susceptibility to Banana Xanthomonas Wilt Caused by Xanthomonas campestris pv. musacearum

January 2013 , Volume 97 , Number  1
Pages  123 - 130

Margaret Atim, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture and Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda; and National Crops Resources Research Institute, Namulonge, Uganda; Fen Beed, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture; Geoffrey Tusiime, Makerere University, Kampala; and Leena Tripathi and Piet van Asten, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture

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Accepted for publication 13 August 2012.

The effect of exogenous applications of potassium (K), calcium (Ca), and nitrogen (N) on the susceptibility of four banana cultivars to Banana Xanthomonas wilt (BXW) was studied. Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium with normal concentrations of K at 783 mg/liter, Ca at 121 mg/liter, and N at 841 mg/liter was modified to contain various concentrations of K, Ca, and N. Each nutrient was varied singly, each with three replicate experiments. The concentrations were K at 78, 157, 391, 783, 1,565, and 3,913 mg/liter; Ca at 12, 24, 60, 121, 241, and 603 mg/liter; and N at 84, 168, 420, 841, and 1,682 mg/liter. Plantlets were generated in vitro on normal MS medium and later exposed to the nutrient concentrations for a total of 8 weeks. Thereafter, they were artificially inoculated with Xanthomonas campestris pv. musacearum using an insulin syringe. In each nutrient, plantlets exposed to higher nutrient concentrations significantly (P < 0.0001) accumulated more nutrient in their tissues compared with those exposed to lesser nutrient concentrations. Wilt incidences were significantly reduced, and incubation periods (time from inoculation to appearance of first disease symptoms) increased, with increasing nutrient application. The study lays a background for in vivo studies aimed at management of BXW using nutrients, such as fertilizer application.

© 2013 The American Phytopathological Society