Plant and Soil

, 347:255 | Cite as

Effects of soil pH on rhizoctonia damping-off of sugar beet and disease suppression induced by soil amendment with crop residues

  • Kaori Watanabe
  • Mariko Matsui
  • Hitoshi Honjo
  • J. Ole Becker
  • Ryo Fukui
Regular Article


Effects of soil pH on damping-off of sugar beet by R. solani (AG2-2) and soil suppressiveness against the disease were studied by comparing disease incidences in pasteurized versus non-pasteurized, infested soils. Soil pH was correlated neither to disease incidence in five soils ranging from pH 4.5 to 7.2 nor to indigenous disease suppressiveness, the difference in disease incidences between non-treated soil and its pasteurized counterpart. When an alkaline soil was acidified with H2SO4, disease suppression markedly declined, increasing disease incidence in the non-pasteurized soil. Inversely, disease suppression was enhanced when an acidic soil was neutralized by adding Ca(OH)2. Soil amendment with dried peanut plant residue suppressed the disease in two pasteurized, near-neutral soils, lowering the incidence to the levels in the non-pasteurized soils, but was less effective in two pasteurized, acidic soils. In vitro mycelial growth of the pathogen and seedling growth was optimal at pH 4.5–5.5 and 6.0–6.5, respectively, and declined as the pH became higher or lower. (Conclusions) These results suggest that the seedlings were inhibited more than the pathogen at low pH, and that indigenous disease suppressiveness through the activity of antagonistic soil microorganisms operates effectively in near-alkaline soils, but is weakened or nullified in acidic soils.


Biological control Brassica rapa Crop residue Damping-off Peanut Rhizoctonia solani Soil suppressiveness Sugar beet 



We thank Jennifer S. Becker for critical reviewing of the manuscript, and Japan Society of the Promotion of Science for offering The JSPS Invitation Research Fellowship to initiate this research. We also thank Gene Bank of MAFF for providing the isolate of R. solani


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kaori Watanabe
    • 1
  • Mariko Matsui
    • 1
  • Hitoshi Honjo
    • 1
  • J. Ole Becker
    • 2
  • Ryo Fukui
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Bio-productive Science, Faculty of AgricultureUtsunomiya UniversityUtsunomiyaJapan
  2. 2.Department of NematologyUniversity of California at RiversideRiversideUSA

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