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  • Author or Editor: José de Jesús Luna-Ruiz x
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Phytophthora capsici is the most important limiting factor in the production of chile pepper in Mexico. This pathogen presents virulence phenotypes capable of infecting diverse cultivars of this crop. The search and development of resistance in chile pepper is an excellent alternative for the management of P. capsici. The objective of this work was to evaluate the response of four pasilla pepper cultivars to infection with five virulence phenotypes of P. capsici. Pasilla pepper landraces PAS-1, PAS-2, PAS-3, and PAS-4 were inoculated with P. capsici isolates MX-1, MX-2, MX-7, MX-8, and MX-10. Two experiments were conducted under greenhouse conditions from April through June 2017 and April through June 2018. ‘California Wonder’ was included as a susceptible control, and uninoculated plants were included as a negative control. In each experiment, groups of six 56-day-old plants from each pepper cultivar were inoculated with each virulence phenotype. Disease severity was evaluated 20 days after inoculation using an individual plant severity scale. All pepper cultivars were classified as resistant = R, moderately resistant (MR), tolerant (T), moderately tolerant (MT), or susceptible (S), according to the frequency of resistant plants (severity 0–1). ‘California Wonder’ and ‘PAS-4’ were susceptible to all five virulence phenotypes. The rest had different responses to the virulence phenotypes, but ‘PAS-2’ and ‘PAS-3’ were susceptible to only one of the five virulence phenotypes. Pasilla peppers with low severity exhibited a slow rate of infection, which is a mechanism we have called “slow wilting.” The pasilla pepper cultivars PAS-1, PAS-2, and PAS-3 could be used in plant breeding programs as sources of genetic tolerance and moderate resistance against P. capsici.

Open Access

The genus Capsicum has been distinguished by its lack of compatible rootstocks with commercial cultivars to successfully protect against Phytophthora capsici. Criollo de Morelos 334 (CM334) has been used worldwide in crosses and as a rootstock to protect against P. capsici. However, novel sources of resistance to this pathogen, such as ‘Pasilla 18M’ have not yet been explored as rootstocks. A good rootstock should be highly compatible with the scion and also maintain the quality and/or provide a benefit to the grafted cultivar. Our objectives were 1) to evaluate grafting survival using ‘Pasilla 18M’ and CM334 as rootstocks of two susceptible commercial cultivars: Sweet Pepper California Wonder (CW) and Serrano Coloso; and 2) to evaluate the efficiency of ‘Pasilla 18M’ as rootstock against P. capsici using CM334 as a resistant control. Grafting survival was analyzed over 58 days after grafting in sets of 60 plants per varietal combination. Disease severity and incidence were recorded during 24 days after inoculation with P. capsici (DAI). Incidence was also evaluated at 54 and 84 DAI. A severity scale from 0 (healthy plant) to 4 (dead plant) was applied to evaluate root rot per plant. Incidence was recorded as the percent of diseased plants (severity >0). Grafting survival of intervarietal grafts was 87% to 94%, similar to ungrafted cultivars, and exceeding autograft survival. Ungrafted and autografted Sweet Pepper and Serrano showed root rot severities 2.3 to 3.3, with 89% to 100% incidence. In contrast, intervarietal grafts remained almost free of infection (severity 0.14; incidence 0% to 4%). CM334 and ‘Pasilla 18M’ rootstocks are highly compatible with ‘Serrano Coloso’ and ‘Sweet Pepper CW’. ‘Pasilla 18M’ confers the same level of protection against P. capsici as CM334.

Open Access