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Manipulating Inoculum Densities of Verticillium dahliae and Pratylenchus penetrans with Green Manure Amendments and Solarization Influence Potato Yield

May 2012 , Volume 102 , Number  5
Pages  519 - 527

A. E. MacGuidwin, D. L. Knuteson, T. Connell, W. L. Bland, and K. D. Bartelt

First author: Department of Plant Pathology, University of Wisconsin, Madison 53706; second author: Department of Horticulture, University of Wisconsin, Madison 53706; third author: 1341 150th St., Cameron, IL 61423; and fourth and fifth authors: Soil Science Department, University of Wisconsin, Madison 53706.

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Accepted for publication 4 January 2012.

We used cover crops with demonstrated efficacy against Verticillium dahliae and Pratylenchus penetrans in combination with the biocidal practice of solarization to determine the importance of targeting both organisms for managing potato early dying, an issue relevant to the search for alternatives to soil fumigation. Two experiments were conducted in commercial fields using a split-plot design with cover crop treatments of rapeseed, marigold, forage pearl millet, sorghum-sudangrass, and corn as the main plot factor and solarization as the subplot factor. Cover crops were grown and solarization applied in year one, followed by potato in year two. The main effect of solarization was significant for reduced inoculum levels of both organisms in year two and increased tuber yields. The main effect of cover crop was also significant with lower population densities of P. penetrans following the marigold and millet treatments and of V. dahliae following rape and sorghum-sudangrass. The cover crop treatments influenced yield in only one of the experiments in the absence of solarization. The combinatorial effect of cover crops and solarization resulted in a wide range of pathogen population densities. Mean soil inoculum levels were negatively related to yield for V. dahliae in experiment 1, and for P. penetrans and the P. penetrans × V. dahliae interaction in both experiments.

© 2012 The American Phytopathological Society