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Development of a mode of application of bioorganic fertilizer for improving the biocontrol efficacy to Fusarium wilt

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More effective ways of applying biocontrol products should be developed based both on the characteristics of the biocontrol agents and the normal practices of the agricultural producer. A new system was developed to improve the biocontrol efficacy of Fusarium wilt for watermelon production, and this system was tested in pot and field experiments. Biocontrol was achieved by applying a novel bioorganic fertilizer product (BIO) to Fusarium-infested soil. The best biocontrol was obtained by application of a bioorganic fertilizer, BIO, into soil during the nursery phase of watermelon seedling followed by a second application to Fusarium-infested soil when watermelon seedlings were transplanted. In comparison with the controls, the incidence of the disease was reduced by 60–100% in the pot experiment and by 59–73% in the field experiment when the BIO was applied during the nursery stage. After application of BIO during the nursery stage, the number of colony-forming units of Fusarium oxysporum in rhizospheric soil was significantly (P < 0.05) inhibited compared to the controls. An in vitro experiment showed that the antagonist Paenibacillus polymyxa in the BIO could effectively colonize the rhizosphere of watermelon and proliferate along the extending plant roots. This inhibited growth of Fusarium oxysporum in the rhizosphere of watermelon and protected the watermelon roots from attack by the pathogens. The method used for biocontrol Fusarium wilt disease in watermelon should be a useful strategy to improve field efficacy of other biocontrol agents.

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This research was financially supported by the Nature Science Foundation of China (40871126) and the Science and Technology Ministry of China (2007CB109304).

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Correspondence to Qiwei Huang.

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Handling Editor: Reijo Karjalainen.

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Ling, N., Xue, C., Huang, Q. et al. Development of a mode of application of bioorganic fertilizer for improving the biocontrol efficacy to Fusarium wilt. BioControl 55, 673–683 (2010).

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