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Anaerobic soil disinfestation for management of soilborne diseases in muck soil vegetable production systems

Anna Testen: The Ohio State University

<div>Anaerobic soil disinfestation (ASD) was evaluated as a tool for managing clubroot (<em>Plasmodiophora brassicae</em>) in mustard greens and root knot nematodes (<em>Meloidogyne hapla</em>) in lettuce produced on muck soils in the Midwestern United States. Wheat bran (20.2 t/ha), molasses (10.1 t/ha), and wheat bran (20.2 t/ha) plus molasses (10.1 t/ha) were assessed as ASD carbon sources and compared to non-amended, uncovered and covered control plots in two consecutive years of field trials. Post-ASD bioassays were also conducted in controlled environments using soils treated by ASD in the field. A significant reduction in clubroot disease index was observed in only one year of field trials, but significant reductions in disease index were observed in three of four post-ASD bioassays. Significant increases in mustard biomass were observed plants grown in wheat bran-amended soils in one year of field trials and in three of four bioassays. All ASD treatments significantly reduced nematode galling on lettuce, with up to 86% and 98% reduction in field trials and post-ASD bioassays, respectively. Significant increases in lettuce biomass for wheat bran-based treatments were not observed consistently in field trials, but were observed in all bioassays. The results of these studies indicate that ASD is a promising tool for managing soilborne diseases in muck soil vegetable production systems, yet ASD must be further optimized before it is widely adopted by growers.</div>

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