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Control of Panama Disease of Banana by Rotating and Intercropping with Chinese Chive (Allium Tuberosum Rottler): Role of Plant Volatiles

Abstract

Intercropping and rotating banana (Musa spp.) with Chinese chive (Allium tuberosum Rottler) has been used as an effective method to control Panama disease (Fusarium wilt) of banana in South China. However, the underlying mechanism is unknown. In this study, we used aqueous leachates and volatiles from Chinese chive to evaluate their antimicrobial activity on Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense race 4 (FOC), the causal agent of Panama disease in banana, and identified the antifungal compounds. Both leaf and root leachates of Chinese chive displayed strong inhibition against FOC, but the concentrated leachates showed lower inhibition than the original leachates. In a sealed system volatiles emitted from the leaves and roots of Chinese chive inhibited mycelial growth of FOC. Volatile compounds emitted from the intact growing roots mimicking natural environment inhibited spore germination of FOC. We identified five volatiles including 2-methyl-2-pentenal and four organosulfur compounds (dimethyl trisulfide, dimethyl disulfide, dipropyl disulfide, and dipropyl trisulfide) from the leaves and roots of Chinese chive. All these compounds exhibited inhibitory effects on FOC, but 2-methyl-2-pentenal and dimethyl trisulfide showed stronger inhibition than the other three compounds. 2-Methyl-2-pentenal at 50–100 μl/l completely inhibited the mycelial growth of FOC. Our results demonstrate that antifungal volatiles released from Chinese chive help control Panama disease in banana. We conclude that intercropping and rotating banana with Chinese chive can control Panama disease and increase cropland biodiversity.

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Acknowledgments

This research was supported by the National 973 project of China (2011CB100400), National Natural Science Foundation of China (31070388, 31028018, 31100286), Guangdong Province Universities and Colleges Pearl River Scholar Funded Scheme (2010), Guangdong Natural Science Foundation of China (S2011040004336), and Ph.D. Programs Foundation (20104404110004) and Postdoctoral Science Foundation (201104341, 20100480762) of the Ministry of Education of China to R.S.Z. A six-month sabbatical leave awarded to AUM from Lakehead University, enabled him to conduct this research at the host laboratory of South China Agricultural University.

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Correspondence to Ren Sen Zeng.

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Zhang, H., Mallik, A. & Zeng, R.S. Control of Panama Disease of Banana by Rotating and Intercropping with Chinese Chive (Allium Tuberosum Rottler): Role of Plant Volatiles. J Chem Ecol 39, 243–252 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10886-013-0243-x

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Keywords

  • Panama disease
  • Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense
  • Chinese chive
  • Allium tuberosum
  • Volatiles
  • 2-methyl-2-pentenal
  • Dimethyl trisulfide
  • Organosulfur compounds