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Field Evaluation of Reduced Rate Brassicaceae Seed Meal Amendment and Rootstock Genotype on the Microbiome and Control of Apple Replant Disease

Wang, Likun, Mazzola, Mark
Phytopathology 2019 v.109 no.8 pp. 1378-1391
1,3-dichloropropene, Brassica, Malus domestica, Pratylenchus penetrans, Pythium, apples, application rate, chloropicrin, disease control, field experimentation, fungi, genotype, grafting (plants), growing season, microbial communities, microbiome, orchards, phytotoxicity, plant pathogens, planting, replant disease, root diseases, rootstocks, soil, soil fumigation, spring, tree growth, tree mortality, trees, yields
An orchard field trial was conducted to assess the utility of reduced rate Brassicaceae seed meal (SM) amendment in concert with specific rootstock genotypes for effective control of apple replant disease. Three amendment rates of a 1:1 formulation of Brassica juncea-Sinapis alba SM were compared with preplant 1,3-dichloropropene/chloropicrin soil fumigation for disease control efficacy. When applied at the highest rate (6.6 t ha⁻¹) in the spring of planting, SM caused significant phytotoxicity and tree mortality, which was higher for Gala/M.26 than for Gala/G.41 but was not observed at SM application rates of 2.2 or 4.4 t ha⁻¹. SM treatment resulted in growth and yield increases of Gala/M.26 and Gala/G.41 trees in a manner similar to the fumigation treatment and significantly greater than the no treatment control. Tree growth in soils treated with SM at 4.4 t ha⁻¹ was similar or superior to that obtained with SM at 6.6 t ha⁻¹ and superior to that attained at an SM application rate of 2.2 t ha⁻¹. Soil fumigation and all SM treatments reduced Pratylenchus penetrans root infestation relative to the control treatment at the end of the initial growing season. Lesion nematode root densities in the fumigation treatment, but not SM treatments, rapidly recovered and were indistinguishable from the control at the end of the second growing season. Soil fumigation and all SM treatments significantly suppressed Pythium spp. root infection relative to the control. Trees grafted to rootstock G.41 possessed lower P. penetrans root densities relative to trees grafted to rootstock M.26. One year after planting, composition of microbial communities from SM-amended soils was distinct from those detected in control and fumigated soils, and the differences were amplified with increasing SM application rate. Specific fungal and bacterial phyla associated with suppression of plant pathogens were more abundant in SM-treated soil relative to the control, and they were similar in abundance in 4.4- and 6.6-t ha⁻¹ SM treatments. Findings from this study demonstrated that use of the appropriate apple rootstock genotype will allow for effective replant disease control at SM application rates significantly less than that utilized previously (6.6 t ha⁻¹).