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Keywords:

  • dry rot;
  • Fusarium sulphureum;
  • morphology and ultrastructure;
  • potato;
  • sodium silicate

ABSTRACT:  The antifungal activity of sodium silicate on Fusarium sulphureum and its inhibitory effect on dry rot of potato tubers were investigated. Sodium silicate strongly inhibited spore germination and mycelial growth. Morphological changes in sodium silicate-treated hyphae such as mycelium sparsity and asymmetry, hyphal swelling, curling, and cupped shape were observed by scanning electron microscopy. Ultrastructural alterations were also observed using transmission electron microscopy, including thickening of the hyphal cell walls, cell distortion, cavity, or electron-dense material in hyphal cells. Daughter hyphae and new daughter hyphae inside of the collapsed hyphal cells were often detected in the cytoplasm of sodium silicate-treated hyphae, although the septa of treated hyphae remained uniform. In vivo testing showed that sodium silicate at 100 and 200 mM effectively controlled dry rot of tubers that were challenged by inoculation with a F. sulphureum spore suspension. These findings suggest that sodium silicate has direct fungitoxic activity against the pathogen.