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Microbial populations involved in the suppression of Rhizoctonia solani AG1-1B by lignin incorporation in soil

Beneden, Sarah Van, Roobroeck, Dries, França, Soraya C., Neve, Stefaan De, Boeckx, Pascal, Höfte, Monica
Soil biology & biochemistry 2010 v.42 no.8 pp. 1268-1274
agricultural soils, Trichoderma, soil amendments, plant pathogenic fungi, kraft pulping, silt loam soils, fungal antagonists, suppressive soils, sclerotia, Thanatephorus cucumeris, soil microorganisms, Gram-negative bacteria, manganese peroxidase, disease control, lignin, Actinomycetaceae, viability, soil enzymes, soil-borne diseases, sandy loam soils, Belgium
Rhizoctonia solani causes worldwide losses in numerous crops. Sclerotia of R. solani remain viable for several years in soil and are an important source of primary infection. In this study the effect of soil incorporation of Kraft pine lignin, a side product of the paper industry, on viability of R. solani AG1-1B sclerotia was investigated. The efficacy of lignin was assessed in a sandy loam (Oppuurs) and a silt loam soil (Leest) collected from commercial fields in Belgium. Evaluating sclerotial viability after 4 weeks incubation in the two soils amended with 1% (w/w) Kraft pine lignin demonstrated a soil-dependent effect. In Leest soil the addition of lignin resulted in a significantly reduced sclerotial viability, together with an increased mycoparasitism by Trichoderma spp.; in Oppuurs soil, on the other hand, only a slight and insignificant reduction in sclerotial viability was observed. Based on phospholipid fatty acid analysis, different changes in microbial community structure upon lignin amendment were detected in the two soils. Both amended soils showed a significant increase in Gram negative bacteria. In Leest soil this increase was accompanied with a significantly higher increase in fungi and actinomycetes compared with Oppuurs soil. In addition, Kraft pine lignin resulted in both soils in a small but significant increase in manganese peroxidase activity and this increase tended to be higher in Leest soil. Manganese peroxidase produced by lignin-degrading basidiomycetes has previously been shown to degrade melanin, which protects the sclerotia against biotic and abiotic stress. We hypothesize that lignin-degrading fungi increased the susceptibility of the sclerotia to sclerotial antagonists such as Trichoderma, Gram negative bacteria and actinomycetes. Clearly, the effect observed here did not rely on the stimulation of one microbial group, but is the result of an interaction of different groups.