Control of Fusarium wilt disease of cucumber plants with the application of a bioorganic fertilizer
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Two field experiments were conducted to evaluate the effect of organic fertilizer application either with or without antagonistic bacteria (Bacillus subtilis SQR-5 and Paenibacillus polymyxa SQR-21) on the control of Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. Cucumerinum J. H. Owen wilt disease in cucumber. The incidence of Fusarium wilt disease was 5.3–13.5% for cucumber plants treated with bioorganic fertilizer, while it was 30.3–51% in controls (only with organic fertilizer). Higher yields and lower disease incidences were observed in the dry season when compared with the wet season for both types of organic fertilizer treatments. Biolog analysis showed a significant change in soil bacterial composition and activity after bioorganic fertilizer application. The numbers of colony-forming units of F. oxysporum f. sp. Cucumerinum J. H. Owen for bioorganic-fertilizer-treated soils were significantly decreased compared with control. Scanning electron micrographs of cucumber basal stems showed a presence of mycelia-like mini strands accompanied by an amorphous substance within the xylem vessels. This amorphous substance and mini strands were richer in calcium and phosphorus but had low carbon and oxygen than the living mycelia. Reverse-phase high-pressure liquid chromatography and mass spectroscopic analysis showed that the antagonistic bacteria produced the antifungal compounds fusaricidin A, B, C, and D with molecular weights of 883.5, 897.5, 947.5, and 961.5 Da, respectively. The application of bioorganic fertilizer has a great potential for the control of F. oxysporum wilt disease in cucumber plants.
KeywordsAntagonistic substance Bacillus subtilis Bioorganic fertilizer Cucumber plant Fusarium wilt Paenibacillus polymyxa
This research work was financially supported by China Science and Technology Ministry, 973 Program (2007CB109304) and 863 Program (2006AAD10Z416), China Agriculture Ministry (2006-G62), and ZJNSF (Y305679). We thank Professor Warren Dick at Ohio State University and Dr Tony Miller for their suggestions and English editing of the paper.
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