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Chitin- and Keratin-Rich Soil Amendments Suppress Rhizoctonia solani Disease via Changes to the Soil Microbial Community

Authors
  • Andreo-Jimenez, Beatriz
  • Schilder, Mirjam T.
  • Nijhuis, Els H.
  • te Beest, Dennis E.
  • Bloem, Jaap
  • Visser, Johnny H. M.
  • van Os, Gera
  • Brolsma, Karst
  • de Boer, Wietse
  • Postma, Joeke
Type
Published Article
Journal
Applied and Environmental Microbiology
Publisher
American Society for Microbiology
Publication Date
May 11, 2021
Volume
87
Issue
11
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1128/AEM.00318-21
PMID: 33771785
PMCID: PMC8208141
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
Disciplines
  • Microbial Ecology
License
Unknown

Abstract

Enhancing soil suppressiveness against plant pathogens or pests is a promising alternative strategy to chemical pesticides. Organic amendments have been shown to reduce crop diseases and pests, with chitin products the most efficient against fungal pathogens. To study which characteristics of organic products are correlated with disease suppression, an experiment was designed in which 10 types of organic amendments with different physicochemical properties were tested against the soilborne pathogen Rhizoctonia solani in sugar beet seedlings. Organic amendments rich in keratin or chitin reduced Rhizoctonia solani disease symptoms in sugar beet plants. The bacterial and fungal microbial communities in amended soils were distinct from the microbial communities in nonamended soil, as well as those in soils that received other nonsuppressive treatments. The Rhizoctonia -suppressive amended soils were rich in saprophytic bacteria and fungi that are known for their keratinolytic and chitinolytic properties (i.e., Oxalobacteraceae and Mortierellaceae ). The microbial community in keratin- and chitin-amended soils was associated with higher zinc, copper, and selenium, respectively. IMPORTANCE Our results highlight the importance of soil microorganisms in plant disease suppression and the possibility to steer soil microbial community composition by applying organic amendments to the soil.

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