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Improvement of Growth and Yield of Gypsophila paniculata by Solarization or Fumigation of Soil or Container Medium in Continuous Cropping Systems. A. Gamliel, Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Faculty of Agriculture, Rehovot 76100, Israel. E. Hadar, and J. Katan. Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Faculty of Agriculture, Rehovot 76100, Israel. Plant Dis. 77:933-938. Accepted for publication 14 May 1993. Copyright 1993 The American Phytopathological Society. DOI: 10.1094/PD-77-0933.

Disinfestation by solarization, fumigation with methyl bromide, and treatment with metam-sodium were studied in commercial greenhouses growing Gypsophila paniculata and experiencing yield decline under continuous cropping. Disinfestation of soil or tuff container medium (volcanic ash), each at two sites, resulted in improved growth and increased flower yield. Flower weight was increased 1765% by solarization, 2697% by methyl bromide, and 51% by metam-sodium. Solarization combined with a half-dose of methyl bromide increased yield to the same level as a full dose of methyl bromide. A long-term effect on yield increase over two to five successive crop cycles was apparent with solarization and methyl bromide fumigation, but not with metam-sodium. The quality of flowers also was improved by solarization of a tuff container medium. Disinfestation increased the percentage of early yield. Solarization or sterilization nullified growth reduction or mortality of gypsophila seedlings grown in pots containing soil or tuff container medium with a history of continuous gypsophila cropping or in noninfested soil in which roots of gypsophila plants had been incorporated. Pathogenic isolates of Pythium spp. and Rhizoctonia solani were isolated from plants from the commercial greenhouses and from roots of diseased plants from controlled studies. Microscopic observation of roots of gypsophila grown in monoculture systems revealed infection by Olpidium brassicae and Polymyxa betae.

Keyword(s): minor pathogens.