RESPONSE OF CHICKPEA VAR. BAKHAR-2011 TO Sclertium rolfsii AND Chenopodium album
Sclerotium rolfsii, a soil-borne pathogen of over 500 plant species, causes collar rot disease in chickpea and reduces its survival rate, growth and yield. This study was carried out to assess potential benefits of soil amendment with Chenopodium album L., a Chenopodicaeae weed, on growth, yield and physiology of chickpea var. Bakhar-2011, grown in S. rolfsii contaminated soil. S. rolfsii significantly reduced dry biomass of shoot, root and grains by 21, 36 and 50%, respectively, over negative control (without fungus or C. album biomass). Likewise, chlorophyll and carotenoid contents were also reduced by S. rolfsii. A 3% (w/w) application of dry biomass of C. album (DBC) significantly improved shoot dry biomass by 134%, root dry biomass by 650%, grain yield by 1309%, chlorophyll content by 1483% and carotenoid content by 320%, over S. rolfsii inoculated treatment (positive control). In general, S. rolfsii increased phenolic content, and activities of denfense related enzymes namely phenylalanine ammonia lyase (PAL), peroxidase (POX) and catalase (CAT) which were gradually reduced with increasing concentration of DBC. This study suggested the use of 3% DBC as soil amendment for improvement of crop growth, yield and resistance of chickpea var. Bakhar-2011 under stress of S. rolfsii.