Evaluation of physiological parameters in early detection of Verticillium Wilt of Olive (VWO) during the host colonization phase
Abstract: Verticillium Wilt of Olive is one of the most severe constraints to olive production today, causing serious concern to the industry. Biotic stress caused by Verticillium dahliae has been characterized as consistent with water deficit stress as a consequence of xylem blockages caused by fungal growth and plant response mechanisms. This ongoing study aims to evaluate physiological parameters that may contribute towards developing early detection techniques, as well as modeling plant reactions to infection during the host colonization phase when symptoms are not visually apparent, elucidating the relationship between VWO infection, leaf pigmentation and photosynthetic capacity in the light of new techniques being developed such as RGB image vegetation indexes, which may prove to be reliable as a diagnostic method for plant diseases. Results obtained to date show reduced photosystem function in young leaves of Verticillium inoculated plants, as well as a reduction in plant growth and differences in color (measured using RGB image analysis).