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Effect of post-plant soil solarization on the reclamation of apple trees grafted onto MM. 106 rootstock infected by Phytophthora cactorum

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Phytophthora cactorum was identified as the causal agent of crown and root rot of apple varieties grafted onto MM. 106 rootstock in the orchards of Fars province, Iran. In a survey conducted in 2012, 3–5% of apple trees at 3- to 6-year-old were found dead and 10–12% of older ones showed declining symptoms. Field trials were carried out to investigate the effect of post-plant soil solarization on the reclamation of apple trees on infected rootstocks. Experiments were conducted in drip-irrigated Golden Delicious apple orchards in Soghad and Kodian districts for 1 to 4 wk. in the July 2013 and 2015 using transparent polyethylene sheets for soil tarping. In both trials soil temperature raised by 10 to 16 °C in the upper 25 cm layer of top soil and resulted in the apparent eradication of P. cactorum population and reclamation of apple trees in the subsequent year. Except in 1 wk. soil tarping treatment, apple trees showed significantly increased growth responses in 2, 3 and 4 wk. tarping treatments as compared to untreated control. The best results were obtained in the 4 wk. soil tarping treatment. Attempts to isolate P. cactorum from soil and roots of 2–4 wk. tarped plants were unsuccessful.

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The author is highly grateful and appreciate technical assistant provided by the Fars Research Center laboratory technician En. Mehdi Entezarmehdi, En. Mohsen Mohebi in Soghad District, and En.Sohrab Abdullah from Kowsar Apple Gardens in the Kodian district for the experiment lay out in the field.

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Correspondence to Bahram Mansoori.

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Mansoori, B. Effect of post-plant soil solarization on the reclamation of apple trees grafted onto MM. 106 rootstock infected by Phytophthora cactorum. J Plant Pathol 102, 1153–1158 (2020).

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