The concept of utilizing organic amendments to manage plant-parasitic nematodes is not new, but the widespread implementation of this management practice has still not been realized. The use of organic amendments for plant-parasitic nematode management is a complex process requiring an understanding of the transformation and generation of active compounds. As a result, research endeavors to understand and maximize the use of this management practice require a multidisciplinary approach which draws upon the expertise of nematologists, microbiologists, natural product chemists and soil scientists. Factors that require analysis and clarification include lethal concentration levels of organic amendments necessary to kill nematodes; chemical composition of incorporation material; fate and exposure potential to nematodes of compounds released into the soil; and the influence of environmental factors (i.e., temperature, microbial community, soil type) on the activity of organic amendments. Examples of research conducted in a collaborative manner with rye (Secale cereale) and a biosolid amendment demonstrate the power of multidisciplinary research. Only through collaborative research can consistent and reliable nematode suppression with organic amendments be achieved.
The effects of perennial peanut (Arachis glabrata) hay, an aged yard-waste compost (mainly woodchips), and a control treatment without amendment were determined on two population levels of root-knot (Melaidogyne arenaria) nematode over three consecutive years in field microplots. Okra (Hibiscus esculentus, susceptible to the root-knot nematode) and a rye (Secale cereale) cover crop (poor nematode host) were used in the summer and winter seasons, respectively. The organic amendment treatments affected plant growth parameters. In the first year, okra yields were greatest in peanut-amended plots. Yield differences with amendment treatment diminished in the second and third years. Okra plant height, total fruit weight, and fruit number were greater with the lower population level of the root-knot nematode. Residual levels of nutrients in soil were greater where root-knot nematode levels and damage were higher and plant growth was poor. Nutrient levels affected the growth of a subsequent rye cover crop.
compost; Hibiscus esculentus; Meloidogyne arenaria; nematode; organic amendments; pest management; root-knot nematode; sustainable agriculture
Population densities of nematodes in field soil without plants were monitored for 10 months following application of organic amendments to pots in a greenhouse. The four treatments consisted of three different kinds of organic amendments: homogeneous crop residues of maize (Zea mays, C:N = 48.0:1), Texas panicum (Panicum texanum, C:N = 32.9:1), or velvetbean (Mucuna pruriens, C:N = 18.6:1), plus a control without any amendment. Plant-parasitic nematodes declined in all treatments due to absence of a food source. Bacterivore numbers increased following amendment application and remained greater than initial population levels until 4 months after application. Fungivore numbers were higher than initial levels until 6 months after amendment application and did not decline below the initial numbers during the course of the experiment. On several sampling dates, the bacterivorous genera Cervidellus and Eucephalobus were most abundant in pots with maize residues. Among the fungivores, Aphelenchoides numbers early in the experiment were greatest in pots amended with velvetbean, whereas numbers of Aphelenchus, Nothotylenchus, and Tylenchidae (mainly Filenchus) were greatest during the latter half of the experiment following the maize amendment. Omnivorous nematodes, particularly Eudorylaimus, showed two peaks in abundance during the course of the experiment. Results provided some evidence that population levels of some genera of bacterivores and fungivores may be affected by specific organic amendments.
bacterivores; fungivores; nematode community; omnivores; plant parasitics; predators; soil ecology; trophic groups
Organic matter and its replenishment has become a major component of soil health management programs. Many of the soil's physical, chemical, and biological properties are a function of organic matter content and quality. Adding organic matter to soil influences diverse and important biological activities. The diversity and number of free-living and plant-parasitic nematodes are altered by rotational crops, cover crops, green manures, and other sources of organic matter. Soil management programs should include the use of the proper organic materials to improve soil chemical, physical, and biological parameters and to suppress plant-parasitic nematodes and soilborne pathogens. It is critical to monitor the effects of organic matter additions on activities of major and minor plant-parasitic nematodes in the production system. This paper presents a general review of information in the literature on the effects of crop rotation, cover crops, and green manures on nematodes and their damage to economic crops.
cover crops; crop rotation; green manure; nematode control
Physical, chemical, and biological factors of soil may reduce damage caused by plant-parasitic nematodes. Suppression of plant-parasitic nematodes is particularly challenging in soils in which there are short crop sequences, sequential susceptible host crops, or infestations of multiple nematode species. In southern Indiana, a watermelon production system involving rotations with soybean and corn does not suppress Meloidogyne incognita, but several aspects of such systems can be modified to reduce nematode damage in an integrated management approach. Cash crops with resistance to M. incognita can be used to reduce population densities of M. incognita. Small grains as cover crops can be replaced by cover crops with resistance to M. incognita or by crops with biofumigation potential. Mycorrhizal fungal inoculations of potting mixes during transplanting production of watermelon seedlings may improve early crop establishment. Other approaches to nematode management utilize soil suppressiveness. One-year rotations of soybean with corn neither reduced the soil-borne complex of sudden death syndrome (SDS) nor improved soybean root health over that in soybean monoculture. Reduced tillage combined with crop rotation may reduce the activity of soil-borne pathogens in some soils. For example in a long-term trial, numbers of Heterodera glycines and severity of foliar SDS symptoms were reduced under minimum tillage. Thus, sustainable management strategies require holistic approaches that consider entire production systems rather than focus on a single crop in its year of production.
Experiments were conducted to determine whether the addition of organic matter to soil increased numbers of bacterivorous nematodes and parasitic activity of the nematophagous fungus Hirsutella rhossiliensis. In a peach orchard on loamy sand, parasitism of the plant-parasitic nematode Criconemella xenoplax by H. rhossiliensis was slightly suppressed and numbers of C. xenoplax were not affected by addition of 73 metric tons of composted chicken manure/ha. In the laboratory, numbers of bacterivorous nematodes (especially Acrobeloides spp.) and fungivorous nematodes increased but parasitism of nematodes by H. rhossiliensis usually decreased with addition of wheat straw or composted cow manure to a loamy sand naturally infested with H. rhossiliensis. These results do not support the hypothesis that organic amendments will enhance parasitism of nematodes by H. rhossiliensis.
bacterivorous nematode; biocontrol; biological control; Criconemella xenoplax; density-dependent parasitism; fungivorous nematode; Hirsutella rhossiliensis; nematode; nematophagous fungus; organic amendment
Brassicas have been used frequently for biofumigation, a pest-management strategy based on the release of biocidal volatiles during decomposition of soil-incorporated tissue. However, the role of such volatiles in control of plant-parasitic nematodes is unclear. The goal of this study was to determine the direct localized and indirect volatile effects of amending soil with broccoli tissue on root-knot nematode populations. Meloidogyne incognita-infested soil in 50-cm-long tubes was amended with broccoli tissue, which was mixed throughout the tube or concentrated in a 10-cm layer. After three weeks at 28°C, M. incognita populations in the amended tubes were 57 to 80% smaller than in non-amended tubes. Mixing broccoli throughout the tubes reduced M. incognita more than concentrating broccoli in a 10-cm layer. Amending a 10-cm layer reduced M. incognita in the non-amended layers of those tubes by 31 to 71%, probably due to a nematicidal effect of released volatiles. However, the localized direct effect was much stronger than the indirect effect of volatiles. The strong direct effect may have resulted from the release of non-volatile nematicidal compounds. Therefore, when using biofumigation with broccoli to control M. incognita, the tissue should be thoroughly and evenly mixed through the soil layer(s) where the target nematodes occur. Effects on saprophytic nematodes were the reverse. Amended soil layers had much greater numbers of saprophytic nematodes than non-amended layers, and there was no indirect effect of amendments on saprophytic nematodes in adjacent non-amended layers.
amendment; biofumigation; broccoli; Brassica oleracea; management; Meloidogyne incognita; root-knot nematode; soil
Preventive and/or manipulative practices will be needed to maintain soil's biological, physiochemical, nutritional, and structural health in natural, managed, and disturbed ecosystems as a foundation for food security and global ecosystem sustainability. While there is a substantial body of interdisciplinary science on understanding function and structure of soil ecosystems, key gaps must be bridged in assessing integrated agro-biological, ecological, economical, and environmental efficiency of soil manipulation practices in time and space across ecosystems. This presentation discusses the application of a fertilizer use efficiency (FUE) model for assessing agronomic, economic, ecological, environmental, and nematode (pest) management efficiency of soil amendments. FUE is defined as increase in host productivity and/or decrease in plant-parasitic nematode population density in response to a given fertilizer treatment. Using the effects of nutrient amendment on Heterodera glycines population density and normalized difference vegetative index (indicator of physiological activities) of a soybean cultivar ‘CX 252’, how the FUE model recognizes variable responses and separates nutrient deficiency and toxicity from nematode parasitism as well as suitability of treatments designed to achieve desired biological and physiochemical soil health conditions is demonstrated. As part of bridging gaps between agricultural and ecological approaches to integrated understanding and management of soil health, modifications of the FUE model for analyzing the relationships amongst nematode community structure, soil parameters (eg. pH, nutrients, %OM), and plant response to soil amendment is discussed.
fertilizer use efficiency model; normalized difference vegetative index; nutrient amendment; soil amendments; soil degradation; soybeans; soybean cyst nematode
The relationship between compost amendment, plant biomass produced, and bacterial root colonization as measured by fluorescence in situ hybridization was examined following plant growth in mine tailings. Mine tailings can remain devoid of vegetation for decades after deposition due to a combination of factors that include heavy metal toxicity, low pH, poor substrate structure and water-holding capacity, and a severely impacted heterotrophic microbial community. Research has shown that plant establishment, a desired remedial objective to reduce eolian and water erosion of such tailings, is enhanced by organic matter amendment and is correlated with significant increases in rhizosphere populations of neutrophilic heterotrophic bacteria. Results show that for the acidic metalliferous tailings tested in this study, compost amendment was associated with significantly increased bacterial colonization of roots and increased production of plant biomass. In contrast, for a Vinton control soil, increased compost had no effect on root colonization and resulted only in increased plant biomass at high levels of compost amendment. These data suggest that the positive association between compost amendment and root colonization is important in the stressed mine tailings environment where root colonization may enhance both microbial and plant survival and growth.
Compost amendment and inoculations with specific microorganisms are fundamentally different soil treatment methods, commonly used in agriculture for the improvement of plant growth and health. Although distinct, both methods affect the rhizosphere and the plant roots. In the present study we used a 16S rRNA gene approach to achieve an overview of early consequences of these treatments on the assemblage of plant root bacterial communities. For this purpose, cucumber seedlings were grown, under controlled conditions, in perlite potting mix amended with biosolid compost or straw compost, or inoculated with Streptomyces spp. A uniform trend of response of root bacterial communities for all treatments was observed. Root bacterial density, measured as bacterial targets per plant tef gene by real-time PCR, was reduced in 31 to 67%. In addition, increased taxonomic diversity accompanied shifts in composition (α-diversity). The magnitude of change in these parameters relative to the perlite control varied between the different treatments but not in relation to the treatment method (compost amendments versus inoculations). Similarity between the compositions of root and of potting mix bacterial communities (β-diversity) was relatively unchanged. The abundance of Oxalobacteraceae was >50% of the total root bacterial community in the untreated perlite. Root domination by this group subsided >10-fold (straw compost) to >600-fold (Streptomyces sp. strain S1) after treatment. Thus, loss of dominance appears to be the major phenomenon underlining the response trend of the root bacterial communities.
The effects of soil solarization and ammonium bicarbonate or ammonium sulfate against plant-parasitic nematodes on yellow squash (Cucurbita pepo) and on vinca (Catharanthus roseus) were evaluated at two sites. Solarization for 3 weeks in the spring suppressed population levels of Belonolaimus longicaudatus, Criconemella spp., and Dolichodorus heterocephalus throughout the growing season on both crops at both sites. Levels of Meloidogyne incognita were suppressed initially, but population densities increased by the end of the crop in several cases. In one site, numbers of Paratrichodorus minor resurged following solarization to levels that were greater than those present in unsolarized control plots. The effect of solarization was not enhanced by combination with ammonium amendments, but, in one site, application of ammonium bicarbonate or ammonium sulfate resulted in lower numbers of B. longicaudatus than in the unamended control. Additional research and improved efficacy of candidate amendments are required before they can be successfully integrated with solarization for nematode management. Efficacy of solarization against plant-parasitic nematodes was achieved despite a relatively short (3 weeks) solarization period.
ammonium bicarbonate; ammonium sulfate; Belonolaimus longicaudatus; Catharanthus roseus; Cucurbita pepo; Dolichodorus heterocephalus; integrated pest management; Meloidogyne incognita; nematode; Paratrichodorus minor; squash; sustainable agriculture; vinca
Plant-parasitic nematodes are obligate parasites, and planting cultivars that are highly resistant to these organisms places extensive selection pressure on the target species and affects nontarget nematodes as well. Problems encountered with long-term planting of cultivars resistant to nematodes include shifts in nematode races or species and the occurrence of multiple species of nematodes within the same field. These problems can be alleviated to some extent when crop management is used to lessen the selection pressure for change on the nematode populations. Race shifts within populations and possibly shifts between nematode species can be delayed by rotating susceptible cultivars and nonhost crops with resistant cultivars. Nematicides in conjunction with resistant cultivars may be used to limit damage by multiple species of nematodes. Some cultivars have resistance to multiple species of nematodes, but greatly increased research effort is needed in this area. More intensive plant breeding effort will be required to make nematode resistant cultivars competitive in quality and yield with more productive, susceptible cultivars.
Globodera tabacum solanacearum; Heterodera glycines; management; Meloidogyne arenaria; M. incognita; nematode; resistance; rotation
Compost amendments to soils and potting mixes are routinely applied to improve soil fertility and plant growth and health. These amendments, which contain high levels of organic matter and microbial cells, can influence microbial communities associated with plants grown in such soils. The purpose of this study was to follow the bacterial community compositions of seed and subsequent root surfaces in the presence and absence of compost in the potting mix. The bacterial community compositions of potting mixes, seed, and root surfaces sampled at three stages of plant growth were analyzed via general and newly developed Bacteroidetes-specific, PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis methodologies. These analyses revealed that seed surfaces were colonized primarily by populations detected in the initial potting mixes, many of which were not detected in subsequent root analyses. The most persistent bacterial populations detected in this study belonged to the genus Chryseobacterium (Bacteroidetes) and the family Oxalobacteraceae (Betaproteobacteria). The patterns of colonization by populations within these taxa differed significantly and may reflect differences in the physiology of these organisms. Overall, analyses of bacterial community composition revealed a surprising prevalence and diversity of Bacteroidetes in all treatments.
The effects of yard-waste compost on densities of plant-parasitic nematodes were determined on four crops at two sites in north Florida. Separate experiments were conducted with sweet corn (Zea mays), cowpea (Vigna unguiculata), yellow squash (Cucurbita pepo), and okra (Hibiscus esculentus). In each test, the design was a randomized complete block replicated four times and involving three treatments: 269 mt/ha yard-waste compost applied to the soil surface as a mulch, 269 mt/ha compost incorporated into the soil, and an unamended control. Final population densities of Criconemella spp. and Meloidogyne incognita were lower in plots receiving a compost treatment than in unamended control plots in only one of eight tests (P ≤ 0.05). Final densities of Paratrichodorus minor, Pratylenchus spp., and Xiphinema spp. were unaffected by compost treatment in all tests (P > 0.10). Vegetable yields were either unaffected by treatment or, in some tests, were lowest following the mulch treatment (P ≤ 0.10). Results indicate that the yard-waste compost used had little effect on densities of plant-parasitic nematodes associated with short-term (ca. 4 months) vegetable crops.
compost; Criconemella spp.; cultural practice; Meloidogyne incognita; mulch; nematode; organic amendment; Paratrichodorus minor; Pratylenchus spp.; sustainable agriculture; Xiphinema spp.
The ability of the following four organic amendments to ameliorate saline soil in coastal northern China was investigated from April 2010 to October 2012 in a field experiment: green waste compost (GWC), sedge peat (SP), furfural residue (FR), and a mixture of GWC, SP and FR (1∶1∶1 by volume) (GSF). Compared to a non-amended control (CK), the amendments, which were applied at 4.5 kg organic matter m−3, dramatically promoted plant growth; improved soil structure; increased the cation exchange capacity (CEC), organic carbon, and available nutrients; and reduced the salt content, electrical conductivity (EC), and exchangeable sodium percentage (ESP). At the end of the experiment in soil amended with GSF, bulk density, EC, and ESP had decreased by 11, 87, and 71%, respectively, and total porosity and organic carbon had increased by 25 and 96% respectively, relative to the CK. The GSF treatment resulted in a significantly lower Na++K+ content than the other treatments. CEC and the contents of available N, P, and K were significantly higher in the GSF-treated soil than in the CK and were the highest in all treatments. The FR treatment resulted in the lowest pH value and Ca2+ concentration, which decreased by 8% and 39%, respectively, relative to the CK. Overall, the results indicate that a combination of green waste compost, sedge peat and furfural residue (GSF treatment) has substantial potential for ameliorating saline soils in the coastal areas of northern China, and it works better than each amendment alone. Utilization of GWC and FR can be an alternative organic amendment to substitute the nonrenewable SP in saline soil amelioration.
Effect of sunn hemp (Crotalaria juncea) hay amendment on nematode community structure in the soil surrounding roots of yellow squash (Cucurbita pepo) infected with root-knot nematodes was examined in two greenhouse experiments. Soils were from field plots treated long-term (LT) with yard-waste compost or no yard-waste compost in LT experiment, and from a short-term (ST) agricultural site in ST experiment. Soils collected were either amended or not amended with C. juncea hay. Nematode communities were examined 2 months after squash was inoculated with Meloidogyne incognita. Amendment increased (P < 0.05) omnivorous nematodes in both experiments but increased only bacterivorous nematodes in ST experiment (P < 0.05), where the soil had relatively low organic matter (<2%). This effect of C. juncea amendment did not occur in LT experiment, in which bacterivores were already abundant. Fungivorous nematodes were not increased by C. juncea amendment in either experiment, but predatory nematodes were increased when present. Although most nematode faunal indices, including enrichment index, structure index, and channel index, were not affected by C. juncea amendment, structure index values were affected by previous soil organic matter content. Results illustrate the importance of considering soil history (organic matter, nutrient level, free-living nematode number) in anticipating changes following amendment with C. juncea hay.
community structure indices; Cucurbita pepo; Meloidogyne incognita; organic amendments; squash; sunn hemp
Two greenhouse experiments were conducted to examine the effect of Crotalaria juncea amendment on Meloidogyne incognita population levels and growth of yellow squash (Cucurbita pepo). In the first experiment, four soils with a long history of receiving yard waste compost (YWC+), no-yard-waste compost (YWC-), conventional tillage, or no-tillage treatments were used; in the second experiment, only one recently cultivated soil was used. Half of the amount of each soil received air-dried residues of C. juncea as amendment before planting squash, whereas the other half did not. Crotalaria juncea amendment increased squash shoot and root weights in all soils tested, except in YWC+ soil where the organic matter content was high without the amendment. The amendment suppressed the numbers of M. incognita if the inoculum level was low, and when the soil contained relatively abundant nematode-antagonistic fungi. Microwaved soil resulted in greater numbers of M. incognita and free-living nematodes than frozen or untreated soil, indicating nematode-antagonistic microorganisms played a role in nematode suppression. The effects of C. juncea amendment on nutrient cycling were complex. Amendment with C. juncea increased the abundance of free-living nematodes and Harposporium anguillulae, a fungus antagonistic to them in the second experiment but not in the first experiment. Soil histories, especially long-term yard waste compost treatments that increased soil organic matter, can affect the performance of C. juncea amendment.
free-living nematode; nematode-trapping fungi; organic amendments; root-knot nematode; soil ecosystem; soil nutrient; sunn hemp; tillage
Four commercial composts were added to soil to study their effect on plant growth, total rhizosphere microflora, and incidence of plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) in the rhizosphere of tomato plants. Three of the compost treatments significantly improved plant growth, while one compost treatment significantly depressed it. Compost amendments caused only small variations in the total numbers of bacteria, actinomycetes, and fungi in the rhizosphere of tomato plants. A total of 709 bacteria were isolated from the four compost treatments and the soil control to determine the percentage of PGPR in each treatment. The PGPR tests measured antagonism to soilborne root pathogens, production of indoleacetic acid, cyanide, and siderophores, phosphate solubilization, and intrinsic resistance to antibiotics. Our results show that the addition of some composts to soil increased the incidence in the tomato rhizosphere of bacteria exhibiting antagonism towards Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. radicis-lycopersici, Pyrenochaeta lycopersici, Pythium ultimum, and Rhizoctonia solani. The antagonistic effects observed were associated with marked increases in the percentage of siderophore producers. No significant differences were observed in the percentage of cyanogens, whereas the percentages of phosphate solubilizers and indoleacetic acid producers were affected, respectively, by one and two compost treatments. Intrinsic resistance to antibiotics was only marginally different among the rhizobacterial populations. Our results suggest that compost may stimulate the proliferation of antagonists in the rhizosphere and confirm previous reports indicating that the use of composts in container media has the potential to protect plants from soilborne root pathogens.
In order to select appropriate amendments for cropping hyperaccumulator or normal plants on contaminated soils and establish the relationship between Cd sorption characteristics of soil amendments and their capacity to reduce Cd uptake by plants, batch sorption experiments with 11 different clay minerals and organic materials and a pot experiment with the same amendments were carried out. The pot experiment was conducted with Sedum alfredii and maize (Zea mays) in a co-cropping system. The results showed that the highest sorption amount was by montmorillonite at 40.82 mg/g, while mica was the lowest at only 1.83 mg/g. There was a significant negative correlation between the n value of Freundlich equation and Cd uptake by plants, and between the logarithm of the stability constant K of the Langmuir equation and plant uptake. Humic acids (HAs) and mushroom manure increased Cd uptake by S. alfredii, but not maize, thus they are suitable as soil amendments for the co-cropping S. alfredii and maize. The stability constant K in these cases was 0.14–0.16 L/mg and n values were 1.51–2.19. The alkaline zeolite and mica had the best fixation abilities and significantly decreased Cd uptake by the both plants, with K ≥ 1.49 L/mg and n ≥ 3.59.
clay minerals; organic materials; heavy metals; sorption constants; Zea mays; Sedum alfredii
The effects of a yard waste compost on densities of plant-parasitic nematodes and forage yield of maize (Zea mays) were determined over three seasons in two sites in north Florida. In each test, the experimental design was a randomized complete block with five replications and three treatments: 269 mt/ha of a yard waste compost C:N ratio = 35:1 to 46:1) applied to the soil surface as a mulch, 269 mt/ha of compost incorporated into the soil, and an unamended control. Of the nematodes found in these sites, Paratrichodorus minor was affected most by compost treatments, with densities at harvest reduced by a compost treatment on at least one sampling date in all three seasons (P ≤ 0.05). Meloidogyne incognita was not consistently affected by compost application. Densities of Criconemella spp. and Pratylenchus spp. were reduced by compost treatment much more often in the third season than in the first two seasons of the study (P ≤ 0.05). Forage yield of maize was increased (P ≤ 0.05) by both compost treatments in every test, with yield increases ranging from 10% to 212% over yield levels in unamended control plots and varying with season (P ≤ 0.05). Use of yard waste compost on agricultural sites may provide a beneficial amendment for crop production and a convenient means for disposal of a common waste product from urban areas. Effects of this compost with high C:N ratio on nematodes were long-term, often not appearing until the third season of the study.
C:N ratio; compost; Criconemella spp.; cultural practice; maize; management; Meloidogyne incognita; mulch; nematode; organic amendment; Paratrichodorus minor; Pratylenchus spp.; sustainable agriculture; Zea mays
Effectiveness of castor (Ricinus communis) and velvetbean (Mucuna deeringiana) amendments was tested for suppression of the root-knot nematode (Meloidogyne arenaria) and growth of okra (Hibiscus esculentus) in three greenhouse experiments. Regression analysis was used to relate nematode population data or plant growth responses to various rates (0, 1, 2, 4, or 8 g/560 cm³ soil pot) of each amendment in separate experiments. In general, plant growth parameters responded positively to the amendment rate until a level of about 4 g to 5 g of velvetbean or castor amendment/pot. Similar trends were observed for nematode galls, egg masses, and second-stage juveniles extracted from root systems. In most circumstances, quadratic equations best expressed the relationships between plant or nematode parameters and rates of velvetbean or castor amendment, leading to the assumption that a best rate of the amendment for plant growth or nematode suppression can be predicted. In a third experiment, in which both amendments were compared directly, velvetbean amendment was more efficient than castor in suppressing nematodes as well as in improving plant growth.
Hibiscus esculentus; Meloidogyne arenaria; Mucuna deeringiana; nematode; nematode management; okra; Ricinus communis; root-knot nematode
Nonchemical methods and strategies for nematode management including cultural methods and engineered measures have been recommended as an alternative to methyl bromide (a major soil fumigant), due to its role in the depletion of the ozone layer. Hence, an international agreement has recently been reached calling for its reduced consumption and complete phasing out. This present research evaluates the potential of Ecologic, a biological, marine shell meal chitin material, as a soil amendment management agent for root knot nematode, Meloidogyne incognita, control, and its effect on the growth of Floradel tomato plant, Lycopersicon esculentum. To accomplish this goal, studies were conducted during which, experimental pots were set up in greenhouse environments using sterilized soil inoculated with 5,000 root-knot eggs per 1500 g soil. There were 4 treatments and 5 replications. Treatments were: No chitin; 50 g chitin; 100 g chitin; and 200 g chitin. A two-week wait period following Ecologic amendment preceded Floradel tomato planting to allow breakdown of the chitin material into the soil. Fresh and dry weights of shoot and root materials were taken as growth end-points. A statistically significant difference (p ≤ 0.05) was obtained with regard to the growth rate of L. esculentum at 100 g chitin treatment compared to the control with no chitin. Mean fresh weights of Floradel tomato were 78.0 ± 22.3g, 81.0 ± 20.3g, 109.0 ± 25.4g and 102.0 ± 33.3g at 0, 50, 100 and 200g chitin, respectively. The analysis of root knot nematode concentrations indicated a substantial effect on reproduction rate associated with chitin amendment. Study results showed a significant decrease in both root knot nematode eggs and juveniles (J2) at 100g and 200g Ecologic chitin levels, however, an increase in nematode concentrations was recorded at the 50g Ecologic chitin level (p ≤ 0.05). The mean amounts of J2 population, as expressed per 1500cm3 soil, were 49,933 ± 38,819, 86,050 ± 25248, 103 ± 133 and 103 ± 133 for 0, 50, 100 and 200g chitin, respectively. Similarly, the mean numbers of root knot nematode eggs (per 1500cm3 of soil) were 40,759 ± 36,712, 66,048 ± 39,730, 9,904 ± 16,591 and 9,257 ± 17,204. Root gall rating was also significantly lower (p ≤ 0.05) at the 100g and 200g chitin levels compared to the control. Percent gall ratings were 3.3 ± 1.0%, 3.2 ± 1.0%, 1.0 ± 0.5%, and 1.0% ± 0.6% for amendment levels of 0, 50, 100, and 200g chitin, respectively.
Ecologic chitin; root knot nematode; tomato plant; agricultural management
Effects of yard waste compost and maize (Zea mays) cultivar on population densities of plant-parasitic nematodes were examined in four experiments in north Florida. In one experiment, eight maize cultivars were evaluated; the other three experiments involved split-plot designs with compost treatments as main plots and maize cultivars as subplots. The three compost treatments used in these experiments were: 269 mt/ha of a yard-waste compost applied to the soil surface as a mulch, 269 mt/ha of compost incolporated into the soil, and an unamended control. No interactions between compost treatment and cultivar occurred in any experiment. Effects of compost treatment on Mesocriconema spp., Meloidogyne incognita, and Pratylenchus spp. were inconsistent, whereas significant effects of compost on population densities of Paratrichodorus minor were found on four of six sampling occasions. Cultivar affected final population densities (Pf) of M. incognita. In two tests, Pf of M. incognita on a Florida subtropical experimental hybrid (Howard III) were only 36% and 23% of Pf on the standard tropical hybrid (Pioneer Brand X304C). In an integrated approach to management of nematodes in maize, the effects of compost amendment and culfivar choice acted independently. Apparently, cultivar choice is more important than amendment with yard waste compost for management of M. incognita population levels in a maize rotation crop.
compost; cultural practice; host plant resistance; integrated pest management; Meloidogyne incognita; mulch; nematode; organic amendment; Paratrichodorus minor; sustainable agriculture; Zea mays
Composts are the products obtained after the aerobic degradation of different types of organic matter waste and can be used as substrates or substrate/soil amendments for plant cultivation. There is a small but increasing number of reports that suggest that foliar diseases may be reduced when using compost, rather than standard substrates, as growing medium. The purpose of this study was to examine the gene expression alteration produced by the compost to gain knowledge of the mechanisms involved in compost-induced systemic resistance. A compost from olive marc and olive tree leaves was able to induce resistance against Botrytis cinerea in Arabidopsis, unlike the standard substrate, perlite. Microarray analyses revealed that 178 genes were differently expressed, with a fold change cut-off of 1, of which 155 were up-regulated and 23 were down-regulated in compost-grown, as against perlite-grown plants. A functional enrichment study of up-regulated genes revealed that 38 Gene Ontology terms were significantly enriched. Response to stress, biotic stimulus, other organism, bacterium, fungus, chemical and abiotic stimulus, SA and ABA stimulus, oxidative stress, water, temperature and cold were significantly enriched, as were immune and defense responses, systemic acquired resistance, secondary metabolic process and oxireductase activity. Interestingly, PR1 expression, which was equally enhanced by growing the plants in compost and by B. cinerea inoculation, was further boosted in compost-grown pathogen-inoculated plants. Compost triggered a plant response that shares similarities with both systemic acquired resistance and ABA-dependent/independent abiotic stress responses.
The lesion nematode, Pratylenchus thornei, was clearly demonstrated as a parasite of wheat. It reduced plant stands and stunted plants in the field under the environmental conditions found in Sonora, Mexico. Other soil organisms also may have contributed to the problem. The nematode is widely distributed throughout the wheat-growing region, and may be a problem each growing season. Nematicides controlled the nematode and increased yields, but they were not economical. No resistance was found in existing commercial wheat cultivars. A pest management approach using variety selection, nitrogen fertilizer, planting in cool soil (15 C) and a crop rotation avoiding wheat after wheat was the most practical solution to this problem on a commercial scale.
lesion nematode; resistance; crop rotation; chemical control; fertilizer; temperature; nematicides