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Research article2018Peer reviewedOpen access

Roots of symptom-free leguminous cover crop and living mulch species harbor diverse Fusarium communities that show highly variable aggressiveness on pea (Pisum sativum)

Sisic, Adnan; Bacanovic-Sisic, Jelena; Karlovsky, Petr; Wittwer, Raphael; Walder, Florian; Campiglia, Enio; Radicetti, Emanuele; Friberg, Hanna; Baresel, Joerg Peter; Finckh, Maria R.


Leguminous cover crop and living mulch species show not only great potential for providing multiple beneficial services to agro-ecosystems, but may also present pathological risks for other crops in rotations through shared pathogens, especially those of the genus Fusarium. Disease severity on roots of subterranean clover, white clover, winter and summer vetch grown as cover crop and living mulch species across five European sites as well as the frequency, distribution and aggressiveness to pea of Fusarium spp. recovered from the roots were assessed in 2013 and 2014. Disease symptoms were very low at all sites. Nevertheless, out of 1480 asymptomatic roots, 670 isolates of 14 Fusarium spp. were recovered. The most frequently isolated species in both years from all hosts were F. oxysporum and F. avenaceum accounting for 69% of total isolation percentage. They were common at the Swiss, Italian and German sites, whereas at the Swedish site F. oxysporum dominated and F. avenaceum occurred only rarely. The agressiveness and effect on pea biomass were tested in greenhouse assays for 72 isolates of six Fusarium species. Isolates of F. avenaceum caused severe root rot symptoms with mean severity index (DI) of 82 and 74% mean biomass reduction compared to the non-inoculated control. Fusarium oxysporum and F. solani isolates were higly variable in agressiveness and their impact on pea biomass. DI varied between 15 and 50 and biomass changes relative to the non-inoculated control -40% to + 10%. Isolates of F. tricinctum, F. acuminatum and F. equiseti were non to weakly agressive often enhancing pea biomass. This study shows that some of the major pea pathogens are characterized by high ecological plasticity and have the ability to endophytically colonize the hosts studied that thus may serve as inoculum reservoir for susceptible main legume grain crops such as pea.

Published in

2018, Volume: 13, number: 2, article number: e0191969

    Associated SLU-program

    SLU Plant Protection Network

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Agricultural Science

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