A method to investigate the effect of moisture-dependent soil aeration on plant disease is presented. Constant volumetric moisture contents between 22 and 39% in a loam were employed, and corresponding soil aeration levels were attained, by applying constant water pressures between −400 and −5 cm to the soil via tensiometer ceramic cups. In the range of available water, small changes in matric soil water potential resulted in large changes in soil aeration.
Young ‘Moneymaker’ tomato seedlings were inoculated withFusarium oxysporum lycopersici either by transplanting to infested soil, or by injecting the inoculum into the soil through preinserted tubes and thus avoiding wounding of roots. Two to three weeks later the effects of treatment were obvious. From comparison of infected plants to their controls in each moisture treatment it was inferred that, in the range of small matric potentials (i.e. wet soil), soil aeration is the decisive factor. In badly aerated soil, inoculated plants succumbed to disease. The combination of a good aeration with plenty available water was optimal to disease endurance. In the soil used, aeration changed from bad to sufficient between −10 to −60 cm matric potential.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT for USA
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.
Lemon E R and Erickson A E 1952 The measurement of O.D.R. in the soil with the platinum microelectrode. S.S.S.A. Proc. 16, 542–163.
Heritage A D and Duniway J M 1985 Influence of depleted oxygen supply on Phytophthora root rot of safflower in nutrient solution.In Ecology and Management of Soilborne Plant Pathogens. Eds. Parker et al. pp 199–202. APS Press, St. Paul, MN.
Miller D E and Burke D W 1975 Effect of soil aeration on Fusarium root rot of beans. Phytopathology 65, 519–523.
Miller D E and Burke D W 1985 Effect of soil physical factors on resistance in beans to Fusarium root rot. Plant Disease 69, 324–327.
Wu Lung-Chi and Scheffer R P 1962 Some effects of Fusarium infection of tomato on growth, oxidation and phosphorilation. Phytopathology 52, 354–358.
on leave of study, jointly at the Institute of Phytopathological Research (I.P.O.) and the Institute of Land and Water Management Research (The Winand Staring Centre) Wageningen, The Netherlands
About this article
Cite this article
Frank, Z.R., Verhaegh, W.B. & Bakker, J.W. The effect of constant moisture and aeration levels in soil on Fusarium wilt of tomatoes. Plant Soil 136, 231–238 (1991). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02150054
- disease endurance
- Fusarium oxysporum lycopersici
- Lycopersicum esculentum
- tensiometric soil moisture regulation