muriate of potash
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
Abstract The mechanism by which foliar application of potassium chloride solution reduces symptoms of powdery mildew disease (Erysiphe graminis f.sp. tritici) of wheat was investigated. The hypothesis that potassium chloride reduces mildew by an osmotic effect on spore germination was tested in three glasshouse experiments. Either potassium chloride solution or the osmoticum polyethylene glycol 200 was sprayed on wheat at the three- or four-leaf stage. The plants were inoculated with spores and spore germination and leaf area affected by mildew were assessed. Leaf water potential was determined as a measure of the osmotic effect of the treatments. Spore germination and leaf area affected by mildew were related to leaf water potential using regression analysis in groups on the data averaged over the three experiments. Both spore germination on the leaf and leaf area affected by mildew were reduced as leaf water potential decreased. There was no difference between potassium chloride or polyethylene glycol in the relationship between spore germination and leaf water potential, but polyethylene glycol was slightly less effective at reducing mildew symptoms at any given leaf water potential. The results are compatible with the hypothesis that potassium chloride reduces symptoms of powdery mildew by an osmotic effect on spore germination.
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