, Volume 124, Issue 3, pp 533-541
Date: 17 Feb 2009

Influence of silicon on some components of resistance to anthracnose in susceptible and resistant sorghum lines

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This study aimed to evaluate the effect of silicon (Si) rates on some components of sorghum resistance to anthracnose. Two 2×5 factorial experiments, consisting of two sorghum lines (BR005 and BR009, resistant and susceptible, respectively) and five Si application rates (0, 0.06, 0.12, 0.24 and 0.30 g Si kg−1 of soil) were arranged in a completely randomised design with three replications. Plants from both lines were inoculated with a conidial suspension of Colletotrichum sublineolum (1×106 conidia ml−1) 30 days after emergence. The incubation period (IP), latent period (LP60), area under relative infection efficiency progress curve (AURIEPC), area under anthracnose index progress curve (AUAIPC), final disease severity (FDS), percentage of pigmented leaf area (PLA), and percentage of necrotic leaf area (NLA) were evaluated. Silicon and calcium (Ca) content in leaf tissue of both lines was also determined. The content of Si in leaf tissue increased relative to the control by 55 and 58%, respectively, for the susceptible and resistant lines. There was no significant change in Ca content in leaf tissue for either of the lines; therefore the variations in Si accounted for differences in the level of disease response. The IP for the resistant line was not affected by Si application rates. The LP60 was not evaluated in the resistant line due to the absence of acervuli. For the resistant line, Si application rates had no significant effect on AUAIPC, FDS, percentage of PLA, and percentage of NLA. On the susceptible line, a quadratic regression model best described the effect of Si application rates on IP, LP60, AURIEPC, AUAIPC, FDS, percentage of PLA, and percentage of NLA. The correlation between Si content in leaf tissue of the susceptible line and the AURIEPC, AUAIPC, FDS, PLA, and NLA was negatively significant (r = −0.57, −0.37, −0.40, −0.67, and −0.77, respectively). There was no correlation between Si content and IP or LP60. The correlation between the percentage of PLA with the percentage of NLA was negatively significant (r = −0.74). In conclusion, the results from this study underscore the importance of Si in sorghum resistance to anthracnose particularly for the susceptible line.