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Influence of Soil Moisture on Root Rot and Wilt of Chickpea. M. A. Bhatti, Department of Plant Pathology, Washington State University, Pullman 99164. John M. Kraft, Supervisory Research Plant Pathologist, Vegetable and Forage Crops Production, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Rt. 2, Box 2953A, Prosser, WA 99350. Plant Dis. 76:1259-1262. Accepted for publication 28 July 1992. 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, 1992. DOI: 10.1094/PD-76-1259.

This study was conducted to determine the effects of soil moisture on wilt and root rot of chickpea (Cicer arietinum), caused by Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. ciceri, F. solani f. sp. pisi, Pythium ultimum, and Thielaviopsis basicola. Three soil matric potential regimes (high = 40 to 20 kPa, medium = 260 to 40 kPa, low = 1,060 to 260 kPa) were used. Wilt and root rot increased with decreased soil matric potential, as did rhizosphere populations of each pathogen when present in soil alone or in various pathogen combinations. Chickpeas grown in soil infested with equal inoculum densities of two pathogens usually had as much or more disease as plants grown in soil infested with a single pathogen. However, wilt severity was significantly less when plants were grown in soil infested with F. o. ciceri and P. ultimum than with either pathogen alone. Rhizosphere populations of F. o. ciceri were higher than populations of other pathogens at the conclusion of each test.