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^PF Effect of nitrate-ammonium ratio on growth of
Syngonium podophyllum 'White Butterfly' and susceptibility to
Central Scienc Xanthomonas campestris pv. syngonii
Library A. R. Chase1
University of Florida, IFAS
MAR 9 ~989 Central Florida Research and Education Center Apopka
CFREC-Apopka Research Report RH-88-12
University of Florida
University of erilizer treatments are known to affect plant diseases as well as
plant growth and quality. Previous work by Conover and Poole showed that
best quality Calathea makoyana were produced with ammonium nitrogen whereas
nitrogen source did not affect quality of either Philodendron selloum or
Brassaia actinophylla (1). In 1986, they reported further results
demonstrating that quality of Chamaedorea elegans and Peperomia obtusifolia
were not affected by nitrogen source but Dieffenbachia maculate 'Camille'
were slightly taller when fertilized with ammonium nitrate (2).
Preliminary testing indicates that fertilizer level can affect severity of
Xanthomonas blight of Syngonium podophyllum 'White Butterfly'. The
following report summarizes affects of nitrate-ammonium ratio on growth of
'White Butterfly' and on its susceptibility to Xanthomonas campestris pv.
Syngonium podophyllum 'White Butterfly' plantlets approximately 2-3
inches tall were obtained from commercial tissue culture producers.
Plantlets were established in flats containing a 1:1 mixture of Canadian
) peat and pine bark which had been steam-treated for 1.5 hr at 1900F. The
medium was amended with dolomite (7 lb/yd ) and Micromax (1.5 lb/yd3)
following steaming. Plants were fertilized every other week with a 200 ppm
solution of Miller 20:20:20 until they were approximately 3-4 inches tall
with 4-5 leaves.
Fertilizer treatments were the following ratios of nitrate to ammonium
nitrogen: 100:0, 75:25, 50:50, 25:75, and 0:100. Ten single pot replicates
were included for each treatment. Plants were fertilized once every two
weeks to give a rate of 0.0315 g N/5 inch pot/week and were irrigated by
hand 2 or 3 times a week as needed. Leachate electrical conductivity (EC)
and pH were determined monthly. Leaf number and plant height (level) were
also recorded monthly with top quality recorded at test completion. Top
quality was rated visually on the following scale: 1 = dead; 2 = poor,
unsalable; 3 = moderate, salable; 4 = good, salable; and 5 excellent,
salable. Plants were fertilized for a total of 8 weeks prior to and 2 to 4
weeks following inoculation. Test 1 was performed from 21 December 1987 to
18 February 1988 with light levels of 1200-1800 ft-c. (recorded at noon)
and temperatures between 600 and 850F. Test 2 was performed from 11
January to 4 April, 1988 with light levels from 1400 to 2500 ft-c. and
temperatures between 700 and 950F.
Inocula of Xanthomonas campestris pv. syngonii were produced on
nutrient agar at 75F for 3 days. Bacterial suspensions were collected and
adjusted to a standard concentration. Plants were placed in intermittent
mist (5 sec/30 min 12 hr daily) for 24 hr prior to inoculation. Inocula
IProfessor of Plant Pathology, Central Florida Research and Education
Center Apopka, 2807 Binion Rd., Apopka, FL 32703.
were misted onto leaf surfaces to runoff using a pump action hand sprayer
and plants were placed in polyethylene bags for 48 hr while misting
continued. After approximately 14 to 21 days, the level of disease was
estimated as the percentage of the leaf surface showing symptoms of i'
blighting (water-soaking, chlorosis and/or necrosis).
Results from the two tests were similar and data from Test 1 only are
presented. Although nitrogen rates were the same for each treatment the
source of the nitrogen affected both the pH and the leachate EC. As the
ammonium rate increased pH decreased slightly and leachate EC increased
(Table 1). In contrast, plant height, number of leaves and top.quality
were not affected by nitrate-ammonium ratio (Table 1). Disease severity
was slightly reduced as nitrate rate increased but the affect was not
statistically significant (Table 1).
Results of these nitrogen source tests with White Butterfly were quite
similar to those obtained for other foliage plants with nitrogen source
having little or no affect on plant growth and quality. Disease severity
was slightly reduced at higher ratios of nitrate nitrogen but the affect is
minimal and not statistically significant.
1. Conover, C. A., and R. T. Poole. 1982. Influence of nitrogen source
on growth and tissue nutrient content of three foliage plants. Proc.
Fla. State Hort. Soc. 95:151-153.
2. Conover, C. A., and R. T. Poole. 1986. Effects of nitrogen source
and potting media on growth of Chamaedorea elegans, Dieffenbachia
maculata 'Camille' and Peperomia obtusifolia. Proc. Fla. State Hort.
Table 1. Effects of nitrate-ammonium ratio on growth of Syngonium
podophyllum 'White Butterlfy' and susceptibility to Xanthomonas
campestris pv. syngonii.
Nitrate- Leachate Level Number Top Disease
Ammonium EC pH height(in) leaves quality severity
ratio 17 Feb. 17 Feb. 16 Feb. 16 Feb. 18 Feb. 10 March
0-100 2625**c 5.5 ns 5.8 ns 21.8 ns 3.4 ns 13.4 ns
25-75 1962 4.9 5.6 19.9 3.2 10.9
50-50 1275 4.9 5.5 20.0 3.0 10.9
75-25 1206 6.0 5.8 20.7 3.6 10.2
100-0 831 6.1 5.7 21.6 3.2 9.5
aTop quality was rated on the following scale: 1 = dead; 2 = poor,
unsalable; 3 = moderate, salable; 4 = good, salable; and 5 = excellent,
bDisease severity was estimated as the percentage of the leaf surface
showing symptoms of blighting (water-soaking, chlorosis and/or necrosis).
**Significant differences between treatments at P=0.01 level or ns not