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Culture-Based Assessment of Microbial Communities in Soil Suppressive to Potato Common Scab

May 2012 , Volume 96 , Number  5
Pages  712 - 717

Qingxiao Meng, Jingfang Yin, and Noah Rosenzweig, Department of Plant Pathology; David Douches, Department of Crop and Soil Sciences; and Jianjun J. Hao, Department of Plant Pathology, Michigan State University, East Lansing

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Accepted for publication 27 November 2011.

A field in East Lansing, MI, showed a decline of potato common scab compared with an adjacent potato field. To confirm that the decline was due to biological factors, the soil was assayed. In the greenhouse, putative common-scab-suppressive soil (SS) was either treated with various temperatures or mixed with autoclaved SS at various ratios. Pathogenic Streptomyces scabies was incorporated into the treated soil at 106 CFU/cm3 of soil, followed by planting of either potato or radish. Disease severity was negatively correlated with the percentage of SS in the mixture and positively correlated with temperature above 60°C. The soil was screened for four groups of potential antagonists (general bacteria, streptomycetes, fluorescent pseudomonads, and bacilli) pairing in culture with S. scabies. The frequency of antagonistic bacteria in SS was higher than common-scab-conducive soil (CS) in all four groups but only pseudomonads and streptomycetes were significantly higher. The population of pathogenic Streptomyces spp. in the rhizosphere of CS was significantly higher than SS. Dilution plating of CS and SS samples showed no clear trends or differences in populations of total fungi, total bacteria, streptomycetes, fluorescent pseudomonads, and bacilli but terminal restriction fragment polymorphism analysis revealed two distinct microbial communities were present in SS and CS.

© 2012 The American Phytopathological Society