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Root exudates associated with resistance in four varieties of chickpeas (Cicer arietinum) to two races of Fusarium wilt. (Fusarium oxysporum f.sp ciceri).

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Haware, M.P.; Padgham, D.E.; Stevenson, P.C.

The germination of race 1 spores of Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. ciceri was significantly inhibited by the root exudate of the wilt-resistant chickpea cvs CPS1 and WR315 compared to untreated spores and spores treated with root exudates from susceptible cultivars. The effect was concentration dependent, such that the exudate from 1 g of root in 2 ml of water almost completely inhibited spore germination, whereas the exudate from 1 g of root in 20 ml water did not do so. The inhibitory effects of the active exudates were negated when the apolar components of the exudates were removed by extraction with ethyl acetate. The root exudates of the susceptible cv. JG62 and the late wilting cv. H208 did not inhibit germination. The hyphal growth of germinated spores was also strongly inhibited by the concentrated exudates of CPS1 and WR315, and diluted exudates were less potent. The highest concentration of the exudate of the susceptible cv. JG62 showed some inhibition of hyphal growth, whereas none of the exudates of H208 were found to contain any antifungal activity. The effect of the exudates on the spores of race 2 was similar to that reported for race 1, except that the water-soluble components of the crude root exudate of WR315 after ethyl acetate extraction were also found to inhibit germination significantly. Overall, the spores of race 2 appeared to be more susceptible to the effects of the exudates. The ethyl acetate fractions of the root exudates of CPS1 and WR315 strongly inhibited germination and hyphal growth of both race 1 and race 2, the effect being concentration dependent. The results suggest that the resistance of chickpeas to vascular wilt depends, at least in part, upon the antifungal activity of the root exudates. Differences in the expression of resistance in the field could depend upon the concentration or rate of production of constitutive antifungal components by the root.