First, second, and third authors: Laboratory for Pest Management Application, Institute of Agricultural Engineering, ARO, The Volcani Center, P.O. Box 6, Bet Dagan 50250, Israel; fourth author: Dipartimento di Agrochimica e Agrobiologia, Universita' degli Studi di Reggio Calabria, Piazza San Francesco, 2-89061 Gallina (RC), Italy; and fifth author: Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Faculty of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Quality Sciences, Rehovot, 76100, Israel
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Accepted for publication 14 March 2000.
The effects of reduced doses of methyl bromide (MB) or metham sodium, heating, short solarization, and soil microbial activity, alone or in combination, on survival of soilborne fungal pathogens were tested in a controlled-environment system and field plots. Sublethal doses of heating or MB delayed germination of Sclerotium rolfsii sclerotia. Combining MB and heating treatments was more effective than either treatment alone in controlling S. rolfsii and Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. basilici. The application heating followed by fumigation with MB, was significantly more effective in delaying and reducing germination of S. rolfsii sclerotia and in controlling F. oxysporum f. sp. basilici than the opposite sequence. Further, incubation in soil and exposure to microbial activity of previously heated or MB-treated sclerotia increased the mortality rate, indicating a weakening effect. Similarly, incubation of chlamydospores of F. oxysporum f. sp. melonis and F. oxysporum f. sp. radicis-lycopersici in soil in the field after fumigation further reduced their survival, confirming the laboratory results. In field tests, combining MB or metham sodium at reduced doses with short solarization was more effective in controlling fungal pathogens than either treatment alone. Treatment sequence significantly affected pathogen control in the field, similar to its effect under controlled conditions. This study demonstrates a frequent synergistic effect of combining soil treatments and its potential for improving pathogen control and reducing pesticide dose, especially when an appropriate sequence was followed.
The American Phytopathological Society, 2000