110(1)_str 10

ISSN 1392-3196 / e-ISSN 2335-8947
Zemdirbyste-Agriculture, vol. 110, No. 1 (2023), p. 71–78
DOI 10.13080/z-a.2023.110.010

Effect of Fusarium oxysporum infection on strawberry under calcium, iron, and zinc deficiency conditions

Servet ARAS, Ali ENDES

Fusarium wilt, caused by Fusarium oxysporum, is considered one of the essential diseases of strawberries. The importance of nutrient supply against Fusarium infection has been studied, while the severity of Fusarium wilt under nutrient deficiency remains unknown. The effect of F. oxysporum on strawberries under calcium (Ca), iron (Fe), and zinc (Zn) deficiency was studied. As plant material, the strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa Duch) cultivar ‘Albion’ was used. After growth for two months in the nutrient solution, plants were exposed to Ca, Fe, or Zn deficiency conditions (except control). Next, the plants were exposed to mineral deficiency conditions for two months. Finally, a group of non-deficient (control) and mineral-deficient plants were subjected to Fusarium infection. Disease development and severity were monitored over three weeks. At the end of the experiment, the highest plant decline index was found under Ca deficiency followed by Fe and Zn ones. Fusarium infection caused a decrease in the chlorophyll concentration. Nutrient deficiency or Fusarium infection decreased cell expansion. Fusarium + Ca deficiency decreased xylem conduit diameter. Fusarium + Ca deficiency decreased theoretical stem hydraulic conductivity, while other treatments increased the value. According to the results, the Fusarium wilt severity was higher under Ca deficiency.
The results of the experiment suggest that the strawberry growers must deal with Ca deficiency in Fusarium-infected plants.

Keywords: Fusarium, nutrient deficiency, strawberry, xylem.

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