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Efficacy of microorganisms selected from compost to control soil-borne pathogens.

  • Pugliese, M
  • Gullino, M L
  • Garibaldi, A
Published Article
Communications in agricultural and applied biological sciences
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2010
PMID: 21534476


Suppression of soil-borne plant pathogens with compost has been widely studied. Compost has been found to be suppressive against several soil-borne pathogens in various cropping systems. However, an increase of some diseases due to compost usage has also been observed, since compost is a product that varies considerably in chemical, physical and biotic composition, and, consequently, also in ability to suppress soil borne diseases. New opportunities in disease management can be obtained by the selection of antagonists from suppressive composts. The objective of the present work was to isolate microorganisms from a suppressive compost and to test them for their activity against soil-borne pathogens. A compost from green wastes, organic domestic wastes and urban sludge's that showed a good suppressive activity in previous trials was used as source of microorganisms. Serial diluted suspensions of compost samples were plated on five different media: selective for Fusarium sp., selective for Trichoderma sp., selective for oomycetes, potato dextrose agar (PDA) for isolation of fungi, lysogeny broth (LB) for isolation of bacteria. In total, 101 colonies were isolated from plates and tested under laboratory conditions on tomato seedlings growing on perlite medium in Petri plates infected with Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. radicis-lycopersici and compared to a commercial antagonist (Streptomyces griserovidis, Mycostop, Bioplanet). Among them, 28 showed a significant disease reduction and were assessed under greenhouse condition on three pathosystems: Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. basilica/basil, Phytophthora nicotianae/tomato and Rhizoctonia solani/bean. Fusarium spp. selected from compost generally showed a good disease control against Fusarium wilts, while only bacteria significantly controlled P. nicotianae on tomato under greenhouse conditions. None of the microorganisms was able to control the three soil-borne pathogens together, in particular Rhizoctonia solani. Results confirmed the good suppressive activity of the compost under study against soil-borne pathogens. The selection of antagonists from compost is a promising strategy for the development of new biological control agents against soil-borne pathogens.

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