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- Author or Editor: José Luis Chaves-Gómez x
Vascular wilt caused by Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. physali is the most limiting disease in cape gooseberry crops. The use of natural products such as organic additives is a promising alternative for management of this disease. The present study sought to evaluate the physiological response of cape gooseberry plants infected with this pathogen and treated with the organic additives chitosan, burned rice husks, or their mixture. The test was conducted under greenhouse conditions and soil was inoculated with F. oxysporum f. sp. physali strain Map5. Chitosan was applied to seeds and seedlings at the time of transplantation, whereas burned rice husk was incorporated into the soil in a 1:3 ratio. Plants inoculated and not inoculated with the pathogen were used as controls. The following variables were evaluated: area under the disease progress curve (AUDPC), leaf water potential, stomatal conductance (g S), leaf area (LA), dry matter accumulation, photosynthetic pigment contents, proline synthesis, and lipid peroxidation estimation [malondialdehyde (MDA)]. The results showed that cape gooseberry plants with vascular wilt and treated with chitosan had higher g S, leaf water potential, LA, dry matter accumulation, and proline content values. In addition, the levels of vascular wilt severity decreased in comparison with pathogen-inoculated controls. The results suggest that chitosan applications on cape gooseberry plants may be considered as an alternative in the integrated management of the disease in producing areas, because they can mitigate the negative effect of the pathogen on plant physiology.