Plant and Soil

, Volume 304, Issue 1, pp 189–197

Enhanced activity of introduced biocontrol agents in solarized soils and its implications on the integrated control of tomato damping-off caused by Pythium spp

Regular Article

DOI: 10.1007/s11104-008-9539-y

Cite this article as:
Jayaraj, J. & Radhakrishnan, N.V. Plant Soil (2008) 304: 189. doi:10.1007/s11104-008-9539-y


Soil solarization in combination with introduction of biocontrol agents (BCA) was evaluated as a potential disease management strategy for tomato damping-off caused by Pythium spp. A rifampicin resistant Pseudomonas fluorescens strain (PfT-8) and a carbendazim resistant Trichoderma harzianum strain (ThM-1) were introduced into soil following solarization. Tomato seeds were planted into treated field plots. The influence of soil solarization and application of biocontrol agents on damping-off incidence, plant biomass, rhizosphere population of introduced antagonists, and native Pythium spp. was assessed by two consecutive field trials. Damping-off incidence was significantly reduced in solarized plots compared to control. Soil inoculation of biocontrol agents into solarized plots resulted in the highest suppression of damping-off incidence (PfT-8 up to 92%; ThM-1 up to 83%), and increase in plant biomass (PfT-8 up to 66%; ThM-1 up to 48%) when compared to un-solarized control plots. Rhizosphere population of introduced biocontrol agents gradually increased (PfT-8 up to 102% and ThM-1 up to 84%) in solarized soils when compared to unsolarized control. The population of Pythium spp in rhizosphere soil was reduced up to 55% in solarized plots; whereas, application of BCA to solarized soils reduced the rhizosphere population of Pythium spp. by 86 and 82% in P. fluorescens and T. harzianum applied plots respectively.


Pseudomonas fluorescens Trichoderma harzianum Soil solarization Damping-off disease control Rhizosphere population 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department Plant Pathology, Faculty of AgricultureAnnamalai UniversityTamil NaduIndia
  2. 2.Department of Biological SciencesSimon Fraser UniversityBurnabyCanada
  3. 3.Coconut Research StationKerala Agricultural UniversityThiruvananthapuramIndia

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