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Crosstalk of Zn in Combination with Other Fertilizers Underpins Interactive Effects and Induces Resistance in Tomato Plant against Early Blight Disease
Plant Pathol. J. 2019;35:330-340
Published online August 1, 2019
© 2019 The Korean Society of Plant Pathology.

Zoia Arshad Awan *, Amna Shoaib, and Kashif Ali Khan

Institute of Agricultural Sciences, University of the Punjab, Lahore 54590, Pakistan
Correspondence to: Phone) +923378600311, FAX) +92-42-9231187
Received January 2, 2019; Revised March 12, 2019; Accepted May 6, 2019.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
The present study was undertaken to evaluate the integrated effect of zinc (Zn) with other nutrients in managing early blight (EB) disease in tomato. A pot experiment was carried out with basal application of the recommended level of macronutrients [nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (NPK)] and micronutrients [magnesium (Mg) and boron (B)] in bilateral combination with Zn (2.5 and 5.0 mg/kg) in a completely randomized deigned in replicates. Results revealed that interactive effect of Zn with Mg or B was often futile and in some cases synergistic. Zn with NPK yield synergistic outcome, therefore EB disease was managed significantly (disease incidence: 25% and percent severity index: 13%), which resulted in an efficient signaling network that reciprocally controls nutrient acquisition and uses with improved growth and development in a tomato plant. Thus, crosstalk and convergence of mechanisms in metabolic pathways resulted in induction of resistance in tomato plant against a pathogen which significantly improved photosynthetic pigment, total phenolics, total protein content and defense-related enzymes [superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), peroxidase (POX), polyphenol oxidase (PPO) and phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL)]. The tremendous increase in total phenolics and PAL activity suggesting their additive effect on salicylic acid which may help the plant to systemically induce resistance against pathogen attack. It was concluded that interactive effect of Zn (5.0 mg/kg) with NPK significantly managed EB disease and showed positive effect on growth, physiological and biochemical attributes therefor use of Zn × NPK is simple and credible efforts to combat Alternaria stress in tomato plants.
Keywords : antioxidants, macro-nutrient, micro-nutrient, phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL), total phenolics

August 2019, 35 (4)
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