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Green Manures and Crop Sequences Influence Potato Diseases and Pathogen Inhibitory Activity of Indigenous Streptomycetes

February 2005 , Volume 95 , Number  2
Pages  178 - 185

B. E. Wiggins and L. L. Kinkel

Department of Plant Pathology, 495 Borlaug Hall, 1991 Upper Buford Circle, University of Minnesota, St. Paul 55108

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Accepted for publication 20 September 2004.

A 2-year field trial was conducted to determine the effects of green manures and crop sequences on potato scab and Verticillium wilt. In addition, indigenous streptomycete densities and in vitro pathogen inhibitory activity were measured and their relationships to plant disease were determined. Green manures (buckwheat, canola, or fallow controls) were tested in conjunction with three crop sequences (alfalfa-potato, cornpotato, and potato-potato). Compared with fallow controls, tubers grown in buckwheat-treated soil had significantly lower Verticillium wilt ratings, and tubers grown in buckwheat- or canola-treated soil had greater yields. Potatoes grown in soil planted to corn or alfalfa the previous year had significantly lower Verticillium wilt and potato scab ratings as well as higher yields than potatoes grown in soil previously planted to potato. Streptomycetes from soils collected from green manure-treated plots tended to have greater in vitro pathogen inhibitory activity than streptomycetes from fallow-treated plots. Furthermore, streptomycete pathogen inhibitory activity was frequently negatively correlated with plant disease and positively correlated with potato yield. These results indicate that green manure treatments may contribute to active management of the pathogen inhibitory activity of the streptomycete community to achieve plant disease control.

© 2005 The American Phytopathological Society