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Relationships between take-all, soil conduciveness to the disease, populations of fluorescent pseudomonads and nitrogen fertilizers

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Take-all of wheat, caused by Gaeumannomyces graminis var tritici (Ggt), is reduced by ammoniacal fertilizers as compared to nitrate sources. This influence of nitrogen on the disease is only observed on nodal roots at flowering. But soil conduciveness to take-all, as measured in a soil bioassay, is modified earlier. Forty days after nitrogen application at early tillering, the NH4-treated soil became less conducive than the NO3-treated one. When nitrogen applications are done at sowing and at tillering, differences in disease propagation between the two soils are enhanced. Results from four years of experimentation show that when the level of natural soil inoculum is high, disease severity is reduced by ammonium, showing an effect on the parasitic phase of Ggt. At a low level of natural inoculum the effect of the source of nitrogen is mainly observed on the percent of infected plants, indicating that the saprophytic and preparasitic phases are affected. Rhizospheric bacterial populations increase from sowing to tillering, but differences on take-all conduciveness after tillering are not correlated with differences in the amounts of aerobic bacteria or fluorescent pseudomonads isolated from soils treated with different sources of nitrogen. Qualitative changes in fluorescent Pseudomonas spp. populations, like in vitro antagonism, are more likely to explain differences in soil conduciveness to take-all than are quantitative changes in this group. Nevertheless, the introduction of Ggt in a cropped soil leads to a greater increase in fluorescent pseudomonads populations than in total aerobic bacteria.

The delay between reducing soil conduciveness and reducing disease in the field with ammonium nitrogen fertilization, the qualitative change of fluorescent pseudomonads populations and the role of necroses in rhizobacteria multiplication, provide information leading to our representation of a dynamic model based on the differentiation of the wheat root system into seminal and nodal roots.

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Sarniguet, A., Lucas, P. & Lucas, M. Relationships between take-all, soil conduciveness to the disease, populations of fluorescent pseudomonads and nitrogen fertilizers. Plant Soil 145, 17–27 (1992).

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