Effect of flower regulation on biotic and abiotic stress management in Pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) under hot arid climate
The present study was carried out for management of abiotic stresses (fruit cracking) and biotic stresses (mite and fungal spot) in pomegranate by flower regulation through water stress, pruning and ethrel application. The results revealed that horticultural interventions, chemical treatments and their interactions significantly minimized mite, fungal spot and fruit cracking incidence in pomegranate. In different combinations treatments of horticultural interventions and chemical, minimum mite incidence (4.80 and 4.65%) and fungal spot incidence (9.17 and 7.83%) were recorded in withholding irrigation during June + pruning + thinning with ethrel 2 ml/l treatment as compared to maximum mite (31.95 and 27.51%) and fungal spot (35.78 and 32.58%) recorded in control natural flowering without chemicals during the years 2017-18 and 2018-19, respectively. Lower fruit cracking incidence i.e. <2.0 kg/plant was observed in withholding of irrigation during June + pruning + thinning with ethrel applications in both years. The maximum fruit cracking (2.51 and 3.24 kg/plant) was recorded in withholding of irrigation during March without chemicals treatment during 2017-18 and 2018-19, respectively. Therefore, it can be concluded that withholding irrigation during June + pruning + thinning with ethrel 2 ml/l treatment reduced mite and fungal spot incidence and fruit cracking through induction of flowering and fruit growth during optimal climatic conditions and enhanced management.
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