USDA-Agricultural Research Service, 367 Johnson Hall, Washington State University, Pullman 99164-6430, U.S.A.
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Accepted 6 November 1997.
Take-all decline (TAD) is a natural biological control of the wheat root disease “take-all” that develops in response to the disease during extended monoculture of wheat. The research to date on TAD has been mostly descriptive and no particular occurrence is yet fully understood. We demonstrate that root-associated fluorescent Pseudomonas spp. producing the antibiotic 2,4-diacetylphloroglucinol (Phl) are key components of the natural biological control that operates in TAD soils in Washington State (U.S.A.). Phl-producing Pseudomonas spp. were present on roots of wheat grown in TAD soils at or above the threshold population density required for significant suppression of take-all of wheat. The specific suppression that operates in TAD soils was lost when Phl-producing fluorescent Pseudomonas spp. were eliminated, and conducive soils gained suppressiveness to take-all when Phl-producing Pseudomonas strains were introduced via mixing in small amounts of TAD soil. Introduction of selected Phl-producing strains into take-all conducive soils provided control of take-all of wheat to a level similar to that obtained in the complementary TAD soils.
The American Phytopathological Society, 1998