The planting of disease-resistant varieties is often promoted as an alternative to the use of fungicides. If a plant variety is produced through traditional crop breeding and is able to somehow resist penetration and infection by fungi, then fungicides are not needed. Right? The problem is that when new varieties are produced through crop breeding, they often lose quality traits that are desired by consumers. In Turkey, the best quality chickpeas are susceptible to blights and require fungicide treatments in contrast to the lower quality resistant chickpea varieties.
“Chickpea is one of the most extensively grown legume crops in Turkey, the area and production being 622,214 ha and 548,000 tons, respectively. Chickpea blight, is one of the most important diseases affecting this crop wherever it is grown. The disease, which originates from infected seeds and diseased plant debris remaining in the field, mainly affects all the above-ground parts of the plants, causing lesions mostly on stems and stem breakage. Chickpea blight can be effectively controlled by using tolerant or resistant cultivars, but none of them has good quality or sells for high prices in Turkey; unfortunately, high-value cultivars are susceptible to the disease. Seed transmission is especially important where crop rotation is practiced. For this reason, effective chemical control is needed for seed and foliage treatments.”
Authors: Demirci, F., et al.
Affiliation: Department of Plant Protection, Ankara University, Turkey
Title: In vitro and in vivo effects of some fungicides against the chickpea blight pathogen, Ascochyta rabiei.
Source: Journal of Phytopathology. 2003. 151:519-524.
If a plant has a higher natural resistance to fungal infection, there will be a structural or intrinsic chemical reason. If the reason for enhanced natural resistance is chemical, and potent enough to kill or deter fungi, are we really comfortable eating it?