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Concomitant biocontrol of pepper Phytophthora blight by soil indigenous arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi via upfront film-mulching with reductive fertilizer and tobacco waste

Hou, Shaowei, Zhang, Yu, Li, Minghui, Liu, Homgmin, Wu, Fuyong, Hu, Junli, Lin, Xiangui
Journal of soils and sediments 2020 v.20 no.1 pp. 452-460
Capsicum annuum, Nicotiana tabacum, Phytophthora, acid phosphatase, biological control, biomass, blight, disinfestation, enzyme activity, fertilizers, field experimentation, fruit yield, indigenous species, mulching, mycorrhizal fungi, nitrogen, pepper, phosphorus, plant residues, planting, potassium, soil enzymes, soil pH, soil-borne diseases, tobacco, vesicular arbuscular mycorrhizae, wastes
PURPOSE: Both reductive disinfestation and germicide can suppress Phytophthora blight, while soil arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi also have biocontrol effects on soilborne diseases. However, the combined effects of reductive disinfestation and botanical germicide [e.g., tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L.) waste] on pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) Phytophthora blight and soil AM fungi are at present unclear. The purposes of this work were to develop application strategy for dealing with pepper Phytophthora blight, and to explore the concomitant contribution from soil indigenous AM fungi. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A field experiment with four treatments was carried out in a pepper continuous planting field, including normal film-mulching with common fertilizer (control), normal film-mulching with reductive fertilizer (RF), upfront film-mulching with reductive fertilizer (UM+RF), and upfront film-mulching with reductive fertilizer and tobacco waste (UM+RF+TW). Phytophthora blight severity index, root mycorrhizal colonization rate, and the biomass and nutrient (N, P, and K) concentrations of shoots, roots, and fruits of pepper were measured. Soil pH, organic C, mineral N, available P, available K, acid phosphatase activity, and AM fungal abundance were also tested. The Pearson correlation analysis was carried out among plant and soil parameters. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: RF tended to increase pepper fruit yield compared with control, and UM+RF tended to decrease Phytophthora blight severity in relative to RF, while UM+RF+TW tended to decrease blight severity and increase fruit yield compared with UM+RF, and had a significantly (P < 0.05) lower blight severity and a significantly higher fruit yield in comparison with control. UM+RF+TW also significantly decreased soil pH, and significantly increased AM fungal population and colonization, as well as soil acid phosphatase activity and available P concentration. In addition, UM+RF+TW had a significantly higher fruit K accumulation ratio, which negatively correlated with blight severity and positively correlated with fruit yield. However, fruit K accumulation ratio positively correlated with fruit P accumulation ratio, which was greatly elevated by the enhanced mycorrhizal colonization. CONCLUSIONS: The coalition of reductive disinfestation (upfront film-mulching with reductive fertilizer) and tobacco waste had the greatest suppression of pepper Phytophthora blight, and the highest fruit yield and AM fungal population. It suggests that combined application of reductive disinfestation and botanical germicide has superposition in inhibiting Phytophthora blight and increasing fruit yield, and there seems to be a concomitant biocontrol by soil indigenous AM fungi which could enhance P and K transfer from plant to fruit.