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Fusarium wilt of chickpeas: Biology, ecology and management
- Jiménez-Díaz, Rafael M., Castillo, Pablo, Jiménez-Gasco, María del Mar, Landa, Blanca B., Navas-Cortés, Juan A.
- Crop protection 2015 v.73 pp. 16-27
- Fusarium oxysporum, Fusarium wilt, basins, biological control agents, chickpeas, control methods, cost effectiveness, ecology, fallow, farming systems, fungicides, high-yielding varieties, inoculum, monitoring, pathogens, races, sanitation, seeds, soil, soil fungi, sowing, West Asia
- Chickpeas provide high quality protein to large population sectors in South and West Asia, and the Mediterranean Basin. This crop has a significant role in farming systems as a substitute for fallow in cereal rotations. Fusarium wilt, caused by the soilborne fungus Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. ciceris, has become a major factor limiting chickpea production worldwide. The pathogen long survival in soil and high pathogenic variability, with eight races 0, 1A, 1B/C, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 having been identified so far, are key elements in the development and management of the disease. Development and use of high-yielding cultivars resistant to the prevalent pathogen race(s) in a given area is the most practical and cost-efficient individual disease control measure for management of the disease. Use of seeds certified free from F. oxysporum f. sp. ciceris, sanitation and cropping practices to reduce inoculum in soil, choice of sowing site and time to reduce disease potential, and protection of healthy seeds with fungicides or biocontrol agents, would be of help for the management of Fusarium wilt in chickpea in the absence of high-yielding, well-adapted resistant chickpea cultivars. Molecular protocols are available for the characterization and monitoring of F. oxysporum f. sp. ciceris populations that would help in the implementation efficiency of these disease control measures. Improvement of these disease control measures may be further realized by combining slow-wilting cultivars within an integrated management strategy.