Techniques for Inoculation of Guayule Seedlings with Two Soil-borne Pathogens

in HortScience

Soil-borne pathogens such as Macrophomina phaseolina (the causative agent of charcoal rot) and Phymatotrichum omnivorum (the causative agent of cotton root rot) contribute to mortality of transplanted guayule (Parthenium argentatum, Gray) seedlings in southern Texas. In order to select guayule genotypes for resistance to these pathogens, it would be useful to develop reliable greenhouse inoculation procedures for screening guayule seedlings. Twelve-week-old guayule seedlings (`11591', a USDA standard breeding line) were inoculated using two inoculation methods (soil-drenching and root-dipping) in two soil media (field soil and commercial soil mix). Plants were rated for disease severity 2 to 5 months after inoculation and pathogens were re-isolated from diseased plants to establish Koch postulates. The soil drenching technique, using field soil, caused rapid development of disease symptoms that were consistent with re-isolation frequencies of pathogens from the diseased plant tissues.

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