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Suppression of tomato bacterial wilt by anaerobic soil disinfestation and associations with production of antagonistic compounds



Anaerobic soil disinfestation (ASD) has been proven to be an effective and environmentally friendly method for controlling soil-borne plant diseases. Mechanisms of ASD-mediated pathogen suppression are not fully elucidated but appear to depend on the carbon (C) sources used and involve a combination of abiotic and biotic factors. This study sought to assess the impacts of ASD with different C sources on soil chemical properties, microbial activity, and antagonistic compounds, and identify the major factor(s) driving suppression of tomato bacterial wilt caused by Ralstonia solanacearum.


A pot experiment was conducted containing five treatments, i.e., untreated control (CK), anaerobic treatment without C source (ASD-CK), anaerobic treatment with rice bran (ASD-R), wheat bran (ASD-W) and peanut bran (ASD-P).


All the ASD treatments significantly reduced disease incidence by 83–100% and simultaneously promoted tomato growth, while anaerobic treatments with C sources achieved a better effect than anaerobic treatment alone. This could be associated with the improved soil chemical (lowered Eh, NO3, SO42− and elevated pH) and biological (elevated dehydrogenase and urease activities) properties and elevated production of antagonistic compounds (Fe2+, Mn2+, citric acid, succinic acid, and ammonia) by anaerobic treatments with C sources. Redundancy analysis further indicated that the elevated ammonia (11.1%, P = 0.002), Mn2+ (5.3%, P = 0.002), citric acid (1.8%, P = 0.046) and urease activity (1.0%, P = 0.036) were the major factors driving disease suppression, which all achieved the highest value in ASD-P.


In summary, the incorporation of organic materials that improve antagonistic compounds (especially ammonia) production could induce higher inhibition effect against tomato bacterial wilt during the ASD process.

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The present study was financially supported by grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31870420, 41807084), the Natural Science Foundation of Guangdong Province, China (2017A030313177, 2018A030310214, 2022A1515011034), the Science and Technology Program of Guangdong Province (2015A050502043, 2121A0505030057) and the Basic Research Program of Guangzhou City, China (202102020390).

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Formal analysis and investigation: Yihang Mao, Taowen Pan, Chaorong Wu and Lei Wang; Writing - original draft preparation: Yihang Mao, Abdul Hafeez and Jihui Tian; Writing - review and editing: Taowen Pan, Joji Muramoto, Carol Shennand, Kunzheng Cai, Jihui Tian; Funding acquisition and supervision: Kunzheng Cai and Jihui Tian.

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Correspondence to Kunzheng Cai or Jihui Tian.

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Mao, Y., Hafeez, A., Pan, T. et al. Suppression of tomato bacterial wilt by anaerobic soil disinfestation and associations with production of antagonistic compounds. Plant Soil (2022).

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  • Reductive soil disinfestation
  • Bacterial wilt
  • Organic acid
  • ammonia volatilization