Plant and Soil

, Volume 238, Issue 2, pp 257–266 | Cite as

Field evaluation of plant growth-promoting Rhizobacteria amended transplant mixes and soil solarization for tomato and pepper production in Florida

  • N. Kokalis–Burelle
  • C. S. Vavrina
  • E. N. Rosskopf
  • R. A. Shelby


Field trials were performed in Florida to evaluate tomato and pepper transplants amended with formulations of several plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) in a production system that included soil solarization. Transplants grown in five different formulations of PGPR were planted into plots treated by soil solarization, MeBr fumigation, or untreated soil. Treatments were assessed for incidence of several naturally occurring tomato and pepper pathogens including root-knot nematode (Meloidogyne incognita) and species of Pythium, Phytophthora, and Fusarium. Highly significant increases in tomato and pepper transplant growth occurred in response to most formulations of PGPR tested. Transplant vigor and survival in the field were improved by PGPR treatments in both tomato and pepper. Diseases of tomato caused by root-knot nematodes, Fusarium, Phytophthora, and Pythium were not affected by PGPR treatments. PGPR formulation LS261 reduced numbers of root-knot nematode galls on pepper while pepper root condition was improved with formulations LS213, LS256 and LS261. Individual PGPR strains affected the number of Pythium colonies isolated from pepper roots, but did not affect isolation of Pythium from tomato roots. Greater numbers of colonies of Pythium were isolated from pepper roots in the MeBr treatment and fewest in the solarization treatment. Numbers of colony forming units of Fusarium were significantly higher in the untreated soil than in MeBr fumigated or solarized soil with no effect of PGPR on isolation of Fusarium from either crop. Incidence of wilt symptoms on tomato was significantly lower in MeBr treated plots and highest in the untreated plots. Yield of extra large tomato fruit and total yield increased with PGPR formulation LS256. Yield of pepper was increased with formulations LS255 and LS256. Solarization combined with LS256 on pepper produced yields comparable to MeBr.

Methyl bromide rhizobacteria root-knot nematode solarization transplant amendments vegetables 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. Kokalis–Burelle
    • 1
  • C. S. Vavrina
    • 2
  • E. N. Rosskopf
    • 1
  • R. A. Shelby
    • 3
  1. 1.USDA, ARS, U.S. Horticultural Research LabFt. PierceUSA
  2. 2.University of FloridaImmokaleeUSA
  3. 3.USDA, ARS, Aquatic Animal Health Research LabAuburnUSA

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