Silicon (Si) is known to reduce the incidence of pathogens on many plants. Little information is available on the potential positive effects of Si on the susceptibility of banana (Musa acuminata) to pathogens. Root-rot fungi of the genus Cylindrocladium have been reported, along with endoparasitic nematodes, to be the causal agent of toppling disease and severe yield loss. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of Si supply on Cylindrocladium spathiphylli infection on banana. Plantlets inoculated by dipping the root system in a conidial suspension of the pathogen were grown on a desilicated ferralsol and amended, or not, with 2 mM of soluble Si under greenhouse conditions in Guadeloupe. The root lesion severity was evaluated using the image analysis program WinRHIZO 7, 14 and 21 days after inoculation. A reduction of about 50% of root necrosis was observed 14 days after inoculation for the Si-supplied plants compared with those not supplied with Si. The Si amendment also alleviated growth reduction caused by the pathogen. These results suggest that Si could have a positive effect on banana resistance to C. spathiphylli and provide an environmentally friendly alternative to pesticides for the integrated control of an important crop disease.
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The authors thank A. Iserentant for ICP-AES analysis and Dr J-T Cornelis and Dr F Crutzen for critical reading of the manuscript.
Marie-Liesse Vermeire and Lucie Kablan contributed equally to this work.
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Vermeire, ML., Kablan, L., Dorel, M. et al. Protective role of silicon in the banana-Cylindrocladium spathiphylli pathosystem. Eur J Plant Pathol 131, 621 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10658-011-9835-x
- Musa acuminata
- Root-rot fungus
- Integrated pest management