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Effects of Crop Rotation and Irrigation on Verticillium dahliae Microsclerotia in Soil and Wilt in Cauliflower

October 1998 , Volume 88 , Number  10
Pages  1,046 - 1,055

C. L. Xiao , K. V. Subbarao , K. F. Schulbach , and S. T. Koike

First and second authors: Department of Plant Pathology, University of California, Davis, c/o USDA Agricultural Research Station, Salinas 93905; and third and fourth authors: University of California Cooperative Extension, Salinas 93901

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Accepted for publication 8 June 1998.

Experiments were conducted in field plots to evaluate the effects of broccoli residue on population dynamics of Verticillium dahliae in soil and on Verticillium wilt development on cauliflower under furrow and subsurface-drip irrigation and three irrigation regimes in 1994 and 1995. Treatments were a factorial combination of three main plots (broccoli crop grown, harvested, and residue incorporated in V.dahliae-infested plots; no broccoli crop or residue in infested plots; and fumigated control plots), two subplots (furrow and subsurface-drip irrigation), and three sub-subplots (deficit, moderate, and excessive irrigation regimes) arranged in a split-split-plot design with three replications. Soil samples collected at various times were assayed for V. dahliae propagules using the modified Anderson sampler technique. Incidence and severity of Verticillium wilt on cauliflower were assessed at 7- to 10-day intervals beginning a month after cauliflower transplanting and continuing until harvest. Number of propagules in all broccoli plots declined significantly (P < 0.05) after residue incorporation and continued to decline throughout the cauliflower season. The overall reduction in the number of propagules after two broccoli crops was approximately 94%, in contrast to the fivefold increase in the number of propagules in infested main plots without broccoli after two cauliflower crops. Disease incidence and severity were both reduced approximately 50% (P < 0.05) in broccoli treatments compared with no broccoli treatments. Differences between furrow and subsurface-drip irrigation were not significant, but incidence and severity were significantly (P < 0.05) lower in the deficit irrigation regime compared with the other two regimes. Abundance of microsclerotia of V. dahliae on cauliflower roots about 8 weeks after cauliflower harvest was significantly (P < 0.05) lower in treatments with broccoli compared with treatments without broccoli. Rotating broccoli with cauliflower and incorporating broccoli residues into the soils is a novel means of managing Verticillium wilt on cauliflower and perhaps on other susceptible crops. This practice would be successful regardless of the irrigation methods or regimes followed on the susceptible crops.

Additional keywords: crucifer residue , soilborne pathogen .

© 1998 The American Phytopathological Society