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Association of Soil Chemical and Physical Properties with Pythium Species Diversity, Community Composition, and Disease Incidence

August 2009 , Volume 99 , Number  8
Pages  957 - 967

K. D. Broders, M. W. Wallhead, G. D. Austin, P. E. Lipps, P. A. Paul, R. W. Mullen, and A. E. Dorrance

First, second, third, fourth, fifth, and seventh authors: Department of Plant Pathology and sixth author: School of Natural Resources, The Ohio State University, Wooster 44691.

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Accepted for publication 31 March 2009.

A high-throughput baiting and identification process identified more than 7,000 isolates of Pythium from 88 locations in Ohio. Isolates were identified using direct-colony polymerase chain reaction followed by single-strand conformational polymorphism, and communities were assembled using the Jaccard similarity coefficient and cluster analysis. Both univariate and multivariate statistics were used to evaluate differences in soil properties between communities, and canonical discriminant analysis (CDA) was used to assess the strength of the association of soil variables within communities from 83 of the locations. In all, 21 species of Pythium were identified but only 6 were recovered from >40% of the locations. Five communities were formed using the cluster analysis, and significant differences were observed in disease incidence, as well as soil pH, calcium, magnesium, and cation exchange capacity between communities. Stepwise multiple discriminant analysis and CDA identified pH, calcium, magnesium, and field capacity as contributing the most to the separation of the five Pythium communities. There was a strong association between abiotic soil components and the structure of Pythium communities, as well as diversity of Pythium spp. collected from agronomic production fields in Ohio.

Additional keywords:P. dissotocum, P. inflatum, P. irregulare, P. torulosum, P. ultimum, richness, seedling disease, soil texture.

© 2009 The American Phytopathological Society