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Modeling the Survival of Two Soilborne Pathogens Under Dry Structural Solarization

October 2003 , Volume 93 , Number  10
Pages  1,247 - 1,257

Eli Shlevin , I. Sam Saguy , Yitzhak Mahrer , and Jaacov Katan

First and fourth authors: Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology; second author: The Institute of Biochemistry, Food Science and Nutrition; and third author: Seagram Center for Soil and Water Sciences, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Faculty of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Quality Sciences, Rehovot, 76100, Israel

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Accepted for publication 27 April 2003.

Structural (space) solarization of a closed, empty greenhouse for sanitation involves dry heating to 60°C and higher and low relative humidity (RH), under a fluctuating temperature and RH regime. Survival of inocula of Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. radicis-lycopersici and Sclerotium rolfsii during structural solarization was studied for 4 years (total of 12 experiments) in an attempt to develop a dynamic model for expressing the thermal inactivation of the pathogens. After 20 days of exposure, the populations of F. oxysporum f. sp. radicis-lycopersici and S. rolfsii were reduced by 69 to 95% and by 47.5 to 100%, respectively. The Weibull distribution model was applied to describe pathogen survival. The Weibull rate parameter, b, was found to follow an exponential (for F. oxysporum f. sp. radicis-lycopersici) and the Fermi (for S. rolfsii) functions at constant temperatures. To improve the applicability of the model, fluctuating conditions of both temperature and RH were utilized. The Weibull distribution derivative, expressed as a function of temperature and moisture, was numerically integrated to estimate survival of inocula exposed to structural solarization. Deviations between experimental and calculated values derived from the model were quite small and the coefficient of determination (R 2) values ranged from 0.83 to 0.99 in 9 of 12 experiments, indicating that ambient RH data should be considered. Structural solarization for sanitation could be a viable component in integrated pest management programs.

Additional keywords: fluctuating climatic conditions, greenhouse sanitation, inoculum eradication.

© 2003 The American Phytopathological Society