Interactions between plants, nutrients, and disease pathogens are very complex and not completely understood. Nutrition, although frequently unrecognized, has always been a primary component of disease control. Plants suffering a nutrient stress will be less vigorous and more susceptible to a variety of diseases. The severity of most diseases can be reduced and the chemical, biological or genetic control of many plant pathogens can be enhanced by proper nutrition.

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Elements Relation with diseases
Nitrogen Excessive N enhanced tissue susceptibility to blast disease N suppresses fungal disease and feeding intensity of sucking insects.



P lowers the susceptibility to fungal attacks because it is a component of phospholipids in cellular membranes.

Potassium K application reduces insect attacks and fungal and nematode infections, because is has a role in cellular functions and thick- cuticle development.
Calcium Ca as a component of calcium pectate in the middle lamella, its levels were related to lower susceptibility of leaves to fungus.
Sulphur S used as fungicide to control and suppress fungal diseases 

Accumulation of S in xylem vessel invading fungal pathogen.

Zinc Zn prevents leakage of sugar onto the plant surfaces, which can enhance the invasion of fungus and bacteria.
Copper Cu fertilization decreases the severity of the Pyricularia oryzae on rice due to its role as a component of polyphenol oxidase Copper has the ability to denature the spores and conidia of fungus.
Silicon Diseases such as blast, brown spot and sheath blight can be ex- tremely threatening to rice cultivation if Si is deficient in soil. Silicon has physiological roles in disease resistance.

Essential nutrient elements besides their growth enhancing and yield maximizing roles may also have secondary effect on survival and virulence of pathogens or the tolerance of the host plant to the disease. Deficiency of nutrients has often been regarded as predisposing factors in plant susceptibility to many plant diseases. Application of nutrient elements has shown reduction in disease incidence in rice plant.

Element Diseases Causal organism
K Leaf spot Helminthosporium spp.
Brown spot Cochliobolus miyabeanus
Sheath blight Rhizoctonia solani
Stem rot Sclerotium oryzae
Brown spot Ophiobolus miyabeanus
Blast Pyricularia grisea
Stem rot Sclerotium oryzae
Bacterial leaf blight Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae



Blast Pyricularia grisea
Blast Pyricularia grisea






Leaf spot Alternaria spp.
Leaf spot Cochliobolus miyabeanus
Stem/sheath blight Rhizoctonia solani
Blast Pyricularia grisea
Brown spot Cochliobolus miyabeanus

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