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Pathogens 2018, 7(4), 89; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens7040089

Soil Chemical Properties Barely Perturb the Abundance of Entomopathogenic Fusarium oxysporum: A Case Study Using a Generalized Linear Mixed Model for Microbial Pathogen Occurrence Count Data

1
CITAB—Centre for the Research and Technology of Agro-Environmental and Biological Sciences, University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro, UTAD, 5001-801 Vila Real, Portugal
2
CEMAT-IST-UL—Centre for Computational and Stochastic Mathematics, University of Lisbon, 1649-004 Lisbon, Portugal
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 September 2018 / Revised: 20 October 2018 / Accepted: 31 October 2018 / Published: 16 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fusarium)
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Abstract

Fusarium oxysporum exhibits insect pathogenicity—however, generalized concerns of releasing phytopathogens within agroecosystems marred its entomopathogenicity-related investigations. In a previous study, soils were sampled from Douro vineyards and adjacent hedgerows. In this study, 80 of those soils were analyzed for their chemical properties and were subsequently co-related with the abundance of entomopathogenic F. oxysporum, after insect baiting of soils with Galleria mellonella and Tenebrio molitor larvae. The soil chemical properties studied were organic matter content; total organic carbon; total nitrogen; available potassium; available phosphorus; exchangeable cations, such as K+, Na+, Ca2+, and Mg2+; pH; total acidity; degree of base saturation; and effective cation exchange capacity. Entomopathogenic F. oxysporum was found in 48 soils, i.e., 60% ± 5.47%, of the total soil samples. Out of the 1280 insect larvae used, 93, i.e., 7.26% ± 0.72%, were found dead by entomopathogenic F. oxysporum. Stepwise deletion of non-significant variables using a generalized linear model was followed by a generalized linear mixed model (GLMM). A higher C:N (logarithmized) (p < 0.001) and lower exchangeable K+ (logarithmized) (p = 0.008) were found significant for higher fungal abundance. Overall, this study suggests that entomopathogenic F. oxysporum is robust with regard to agricultural changes, and GLMM is a useful statistical tool for count data in ecology. View Full-Text
Keywords: entomopathogenic fungi; soil chemistry; microbial ecology; vineyards; Fusarium oxysporum; generalized linear mixed model entomopathogenic fungi; soil chemistry; microbial ecology; vineyards; Fusarium oxysporum; generalized linear mixed model
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Sharma, L.; Oliveira, I.; Raimundo, F.; Torres, L.; Marques, G. Soil Chemical Properties Barely Perturb the Abundance of Entomopathogenic Fusarium oxysporum: A Case Study Using a Generalized Linear Mixed Model for Microbial Pathogen Occurrence Count Data. Pathogens 2018, 7, 89.

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