Inducing Resistance in Heliconia psittacorum cv. Golden Torch to Naturally Occurring Leaf Diseases

  •  D. H. S. Sardinha    
  •  A. A. C. Rodrigues    
  •  J. R. M. Campos Neto    
  •  L. G. L. Melo    
  •  L. J. M. G. Oliveira    
  •  F. A. S. Diniz    
  •  D. S. Paz    


One of the bottlenecks to heliconia production is leaf diseases, which have the main characteristic of forming necrotic spots, that can reduce photosynthesis, damage the heliconia bracts and make the flowers unsuitable for commercialisation. The objective of the present study was to identify inducers capable of inducing resistance in H. psittacorum cv. Golden Torch, assessing by enzymatic action the reduction in the severity of the fungus complex associated to the cultivation of this species and verifying the action of the severity in relation to the net photosynthesis rate of the plants. The inducers were applied to the plants using a back spray and during application the plots were protected to prevent the products from drifting. The concentrations applied were Agro-Mos® (10 ml L-1), Bion® (0.5 g L-1), Quartz® (40 ml L-1), potassium phosphite (3 g L-1) and calcium phosphite (3 g L-1). During the experimental cultivation, the severity caused by the fungus complex and the photosynthetic rate of the plants were assessed and plant material was collected to analyse the enzymatic activity. The results indicated that the inducers Bion® and the phosphites applied reduced the fungus complex severity, increased the activity of peroxidase, polifenoloxidase and β-1.3 gluconase but did not cause alterations in the net photosynthesis rate of the plants. The value found for β > 1 suggested that the visual estimation of the fungus complex severity is a good visual indicator of the effect of the plant pathogens on the host photosynthetic rate. The results are concrete responses to producers in the sector on management alternatives for diseases associated to heliconia cultivation.

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