SCREENING OF SUNFLOWER (HELIANTHUS ANNUUS L.) VARIETIES AGAINST CHARCOAL ROT FUNGUS, MACROPHOMINA PHASEOLINA (TASSI) GOID.
Sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) varieties like Aussie gold-04, Aussie gold-62, Hysun-33, Hysun-39, NK Armoni and S-278 were screened against Macrophomina phaseolina (Tassi) Goid. Seeds of each variety were separately sown in 8 cm diam., plastic pots containing 300 g soil/ pot. There were two sets of pots i.e., i) autoclaved soil (sterilized soil), ii) soil naturally infested with sclerotia of M. phaseolina (non-sterilized). All six varieties showed significantly improved plant growth and vigour in non inoculated autoclaved soil whereas all varieties showed incidence of root rot by M. phaseolina in naturally infested soil. Hysun-39 showed significantly low incidence of M. phaseolina (13%) followed by Hysun-39 (27%). Hysun-33 also showed greater plant length followed by Aussie gold 62 in non-sterilized soil.