Altering Conidial Dispersal of Alternaria solani by Modifying Microclimate in Tomato Crop Canopy


Early blight of tomato caused by Alternaria solani, is responsible for severe yield losses in tomato. The conidia survive on soil surface and old dry lower leaves of the plant and spread when suitable climatic conditions are available. Macroclimatic study reveals that highest inoculum concentration of Alternaria spores appeared in May 2012 to 2013 and lowest concentration during January 2012 to 2013. High night temperature positively correlated and significantly (P < 0.01) involved in conidial spore dispersal and low relative humidity (RH) displayed significant (P < 0.05) but negative correlation with conidial dispersal. The objective of the study was to modify microclimatic conditions of tomato crop canopy which may hamper conidial dispersal and reduce disease severity. We evaluated effect of marigold intercropping and plastic mulching singly and in consortia on A. solani conidial density, tomato leaf damage and microclimatic parameters as compar to tomato alone (T). Tomato-marigold intercropping-plastic mulching treatment (T + M + P) showed 35-39% reduction in disease intensity as compared to tomato alone. When intercropped with tomato, marigold served as barrier to conidial movement and plastic mulching prevented evapotranspiration and reduced the canopy RH that resulted in less germination of A. solani spores. Marigold intercropping and plastic mulching served successfully as physical barrier against conidial dissemination to diminish significantly the tomato foliar damage produced by A. solani.

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@inproceedings{Jambhulkar2016AlteringCD, title={Altering Conidial Dispersal of Alternaria solani by Modifying Microclimate in Tomato Crop Canopy}, author={Prashant Prakash Jambhulkar and Nitiprasad N. Jambhulkar and Madanlal Meghwal and Gauri Shankar Ameta}, booktitle={The plant pathology journal}, year={2016} }