Physalis peruviana L. crops are exposed to different stress conditions that limit their productivity. Within these conditions, abiotic stress caused by water and biotic stress by Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. physali (Foph) are frequent at commercial levels. The foliar application of synthetic elicitors can be a tool to mitigate the negative impacts of these stresses. The objective of this study was to evaluate the interaction between Foph inoculation and three foliar applications of brassinosteroids (BR), salicylic acid (SA), and a commercial elicitor based on botanical extracts (BE) of Echinacea purpurea, Potentilla erecta, and Aloe vera on the physiological [stomatal conductance (gS), leaf water potential (Ψwf), chlorophyll fluorescence, and growth] and biochemical [photosynthetic pigments, malondialdehyde (MDA) production, and proline content] responses of cape gooseberry plants subjected to a 6-day waterlogging period. The established treatments were as follows: 1) waterlogged plants without Foph; 2) waterlogged plants with Foph; 3) waterlogged, noninoculated (Foph−) plants treated foliarly with BR, SA, or BE; and 4) waterlogged, inoculated (Foph+) plants treated foliarly with BR, SA, or BE. The results showed that the foliar application of BR or SA reduced vascular wilt development in plants subjected to a hypoxia period. In addition, three applications of BR, SA, or BE favored gS, Ψwf, growth, and chlorophyll fluorescence parameters in cape gooseberry plants under the interaction between Foph and oxygen deficit in the soil. Also, higher photosynthetic pigment and proline contents were observed in plants treated with elicitors under stress combination, whereas a lower MDA production was evidenced in this group of plants. In conclusion, BR, SA, or BE can help mitigate the negative effects of the simultaneous occurrence of Foph and a waterlogging condition for 6 days in cape gooseberry plants.
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 (gS), 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 gS, 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.