Biology and Fertility of Soils

, Volume 44, Issue 8, pp 1013–1023 | Cite as

Green manure effects on soil quality in relation to suppression of Verticillium wilt of potatoes

  • N. Ochiai
  • M. L. Powelson
  • F. J. Crowe
  • R. P. Dick
Original Paper


Verticillium dahliae is a major, persistent pathogen in soil but conventional control is becoming more difficult because of increasing costs and environmental impacts of pesticides. Organic amendments can naturally suppress plant diseases, but to be reliable, mechanisms and suppressive soil indicators need to be understood. Consequently, a 3 × 3 factorial experiment was conducted in two separate fields over 2 years with three green manure types (Austrian winter pea, Pisum sativum L.; broccoli Brassica oleracea L.; or Sudan grass, Sorghum vulgare), incorporated at three rates (6, 12, or 24 Mg ha−1 dry biomass). The relationship between soil chemical and microbiological properties and suppression of Verticillium wilt of potato was investigated using correlation and stepwise multiple-linear-regression (MLR) analysis. V. dahliae inoculum density (ID) were positively correlated with relative area under the senescence progress curve (RAUSPC) in both 2002 and 2003. In 2002, in addition to ID, low soil pH, low Ca, high K, high Mg, high total soil C, and low arylsulfatase activity were associated with low RAUSPC. Soil pH, Ca, K, and Mg were not impacted by green manure treatments, but rather indicated a pre-existing soil gradient at the 2002 site. In 2003, in addition to ID, high values of NO3−N, total C, fluorescein diacetate hydrolysis (FDA), microbial respiration, and microbial biomass C were associated with low RAUSPC. These six factors were affected by green manure treatments. The best MLR model included terms for ID, FDA, and soil pH, and accounted for 70% of the variability in RAUSPC.


Soil quality Disease suppression Verticillium 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. Ochiai
    • 1
  • M. L. Powelson
    • 2
  • F. J. Crowe
    • 2
  • R. P. Dick
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Crop and Soil ScienceOregon State UniversityCorvallisUSA
  2. 2.Department of Botany and Plant PathologyOregon State UniversityCorvallisUSA
  3. 3.School of Environment and Natural ResourcesOhio State UniversityColumbusUSA

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