, Volume 39, Issue 1, pp 185-193

The resistance of potato plants toErwinia carotovora subsp.atroseptica in relation to their calcium and magnesium content

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The effect of adding gypsum (CaSO4) to growing media on the resistance toErwinia carotovora subsp.atroseptica (van Hall) Dye of potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) stems and mother and daughter tubers was examined in field and glasshouse experiments. The decayin situ of inoculated mother tubers from field plots treated before planting with gypsum was significantly delayed compared with tubers sampled from non-amended plots. Blackleg development was also significantly delayed in the gypsum-amended plots; however, for both mother tubers and stems the increased resistance associated with the application of gypsum later disappeared. Stem resistance tended to be related to tissue calcium and magnesium concentrations which were higher in plots treated with gypsum than in untreated plots. Daughter tubers produced in plots amended with gypsum generally contained a higher concentration of calcium in their cortex and were more resistant to decay byE. carotovora subsp.atroseptica but the effect was not consistent.