Induction of resistance in chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) against Ascochyta rabiei by applying chemicals and plant extracts

M. Usman Ghazanfar1*, Waqas Wakil2, and Shahbaz Talib Sahi3

Since new fungicides are scarce in the market and because of environmental problems, researchers are now emphasizing other alternatives, such as the genetic potential of plants, resistance against pathogens, and the use of biotic and abiotic agents to develop induced or acquired resistance. We investigated the role of resistance-inducing substances (chemicals and plant extracts) in three chickpea cvs. C-44, Pb-91, and Bittle-98 in field experiments against Ascochyta blight disease. These cultivars were selected on the basis of better yield potential shown in previous experiments. Aqueous solution of salicylic acid (SA) at 0.5, 1.0, and 1.5 mM; acibenzolar-S-methyl (Bion®, ASM) at 0.4, 0.8, and 1.2 mM; and KOH at 25, 50, and 75 mM were applied, whereas Azadirachta indica A. Juss., Datura metel L., and Allium sativum L. plant extracts were applied at 5, 10, and 15%. Disease reduction data was recorded at different intervals from 4 to 14 d after being induced and inoculated with the pathogen. Overall results revealed that significant disease reduction (79.3%) was provided by ASM in the cv. C-44 at 1.2 mM compared with SA, whereas the least significant was KOH. Maximum disease reduction (43.5%) against disease in the plant extracts was observed by applying A. indica leaf extract, but D. metel and A. sativum extracts were not effective. Our findings suggest that enhancing resistance before infecting chickpea plants could be an innovative control method for Ascochyta blight of chickpea.

Keywords: Induced resistance, acibenzolar-S-methyl, salicylic acid, Azadirachta indica, Datura metel>/i>.
1University of Sargodha, University College of Agriculture, Sargodha, Pakistan. *Corresponding author (usmanghazanfar1073@yahoo.com).
2University of Agriculture, Department of Agricultural Entomology, Faisalabad, Pakistan.
3University of Agriculture, Department of Plant Pathology, Faisalabad, Pakistan.