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Nursery treatments with resistant inducers, soil amendments and biocontrol agents for the management of the Fusarium wilt of lettuce under glasshouse and field conditions

Gilardi, Giovanna, Pugliese, Massimo, Gullino, Maria Lodovica, Garibaldi, Angelo
Phytopathologische Zeitschrift 2019 v.167 no.2 pp. 98-110
Bacillus subtilis, Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. lactucae, Fusarium wilt, Pseudomonas, Trichoderma asperellum, acibenzolar-S-methyl, biological control agents, biomass production, composts, control methods, crop production, cultivars, disease control, greenhouses, growing media, lettuce, mixing, pathogens, peat, plant development, potassium phosphite, soil, soil amendments
Lettuce Fusarium wilt, caused by Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. lactucae, represents a major problem in most lettuce production areas worldwide. In the present study, a number of resistance inducers, organic amendments and biocontrol agents were applied in a preventative way, in experimental and commercial situations, to soils artificially or naturally infested with race 1 of the pathogen, and to moderately susceptible lettuce cultivars. Potassium phosphite, acibenzolar‐S‐methyl, green composts, and Bacillus subtilis Qst713, Trichoderma asperellum + Trichoderma gamsii, and Pseudomonas strains achieved the most consistent disease control under the experimental conditions. Moreover, potassium phosphite, green compost, B. subtilis Qst713 and T. asperellum + T. gamsii, also showed a positive effect on plant development. In general, the results of the different treatments in naturally infested soil were similar to those observed in glasshouse trials under artificial inoculation. Potassium phosphite provided a consistent disease reduction (48%–62% in artificially infested soil and 60%–75% in naturally infested soil). The effects of adding 10% compost to a peat growing medium in the nursery, followed by a soil mixing application when lettuce was transplanted, significantly reduced the severity of Fusarium wilt (50%–59% efficacy) and increased fresh biomass production. Compost enrichment with Trichoderma TW2 generally further increased its efficacy. When tested under field conditions, the commercially available Trichoderma spp. and B. subtilis, together with experimental strains of Pseudomonas and Trichoderma spp., applied at the nursery level, provided a disease reduction of 30%–78%. Early application of the different control measures under nursery conditions and at lettuce transplant is noteworthy because it was carried out at a more localized level, with reduced amounts of products. Their use in practice should be integrated with other control strategies.