European Journal of Plant Pathology

, Volume 117, Issue 4, pp 393–402

The suppressive effects of composts used as growth media against Botrytis cinerea in cucumber plants

  • Guillem Segarra
  • Eva Casanova
  • Celia Borrero
  • Manuel Avilés
  • Isabel Trillas
Full Research Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10658-007-9108-x

Cite this article as:
Segarra, G., Casanova, E., Borrero, C. et al. Eur J Plant Pathol (2007) 117: 393. doi:10.1007/s10658-007-9108-x

Abstract

The incidence/severity of soil-borne plant diseases is often reduced when composts are used as growth media. However, much less information is available about the effects of composts on the development of foliar diseases. Here we studied the suppressive capacity of five composts (from olive marc-cotton gin trash, grape marc, cork, spent mushroom and municipal organic and yard wastes) as growth media against Botrytis cinerea disease in cucumber plants. We also examined the putative correlations of several biotic and abiotic factors involved in disease suppression. The suppressive capacity of the growth media was studied by comparing disease incidence/severity in plants grown in composts with that occurring in plants grown in commercial peats, which are conducive to most soilborne diseases. Correlations were made between the occurrence of disease and leaf nutrient status, as well as electrical conductivity (EC) and microbial activity (measured as β-glucosidase activity) in the growth media. Cucumber plants grown in the peats showed greater severity of B. cinerea during the bioassay than those grown in composts. Mo, Ca and Si content in leaves showed negative correlations with this disease. A negative correlation with disease severity was observed for EC and microbial activity in the growth media. The noticeable reduction in B. cinerea in plants grown in composts was related to the supply of specific chemical elements, a certain degree of salt stress, and the high microbial activity of composts.

Keywords

CalciumCompostGray moldMolybdenumNutrient statusSilicon

Copyright information

© KNPV 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Guillem Segarra
    • 1
  • Eva Casanova
    • 1
  • Celia Borrero
    • 2
  • Manuel Avilés
    • 2
  • Isabel Trillas
    • 1
  1. 1.Departament de Biologia Vegetal, Facultat de BiologiaUniversitat de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Departamento de Ciencias AgroforestalesUniversidad de Sevilla, EUITASevillaSpain