Main content area

The microbial changes during the biological control of cucumber damping-off disease using biocontrol agents and reductive soil disinfestation

Huang, Xinqi, Cui, Huiling, Yang, Li, Lan, Tao, Zhang, Jinbo, Cai, Zucong
BioControl 2017 v.62 no.1 pp. 97-109
Thanatephorus cucumeris, antagonists, biological control, biological control agents, community structure, cucumbers, damping off, disease incidence, disinfestation, microbial communities, organic matter, quantitative polymerase chain reaction, sequence analysis, soil, soil microorganisms, sustainable technology
Cucumber damping-off disease mainly caused by Rhizoctonia solani leads to serious loss in agricultural production. In this study, the effective and environmentally friendly methods, using two biological agents combined with applying organic matter or reductive soil disinfestation (RSD), were performed to control the disease. Real-time PCR and MiSeq pyrosequencing were used to investigate the microbial community changes during the biocontrol process. The results showed that the applications of organic matter and antagonists (Ant) significantly decreased R. solani population and disease incidence, and increased soil microbial population and activity. However, antagonists application combined with RSD (RSD + Ant) behaved much better in nearly all aspects, and facilitated to maintain the population and activity of antagonists. Compared to the applications of organic matter and antagonists, the combination of RSD and antagonists changed soil microbial community structure to a larger extent. In conclusion, the applications of biocontrol agents and organic matter improved soil microbial community and decreased cucumber damping-off disease incidence, but the combination of RSD and the antagonists was a more promising method for the improvement of soil microbial community and the stable and successful control of the disease.