Link to home

Assessment of plant pathogenic fungal and oomycete communities in the soil of a long-term fertilization experiment

Liina Soonvald: Estonian University of Life Sciences, Chair of Plant Health

<div>Many diseases caused by plant pathogens are actually a complex assembly of different species. Therefore, it is important to study them not only on the single species level but also analyse their community structure. The objective of this study was to assess, how mineral and organic fertilization treatments and their application rates affect the pathogenic fungal and oomycete communities in soil. Hence, in 2014 soil samples were collected three times during the growing season from potato field grown in an experimental field for long-term fertilization experiment. Pathogen community composition was assessed by using PacBio SMRT sequencing of full ITS region.</p> <p>Previous studies, which have mainly focused on single pathogenic species, have suggested that organic fertilization treatment decreases the number of pathogenic organisms in the soil<em>. </em>In our study, pathogen richness decreased only substantially with time, while both treatment and fertilizer application rate didn´t affect pathogen species richness. However, community composition analysis showed that treatment has the largest source of variation on pathogen communities in soil. Our results thus indicated that different fertilization treatments harbour different pathogen communities. Disease suppression could, therefore, act not only on single species-level but also on a community-level.</div>