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Open AccessArticle

Effects of Crop Rotation and Biocontrol Amendments on Rhizoctonia Disease of Potato and Soil Microbial Communities

1
USDA, ARS, New England Plant, Soil, and Water Laboratory, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469, USA
2
Department of Plant Pathology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Mention of trade names or commercial products in this article is solely for the purpose of providing specific information and does not imply recommendation or endorsement by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Portions of this work were a part of Marin T. Brewer’s master thesis.
Agriculture 2020, 10(4), 128; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10040128
Received: 12 March 2020 / Revised: 7 April 2020 / Accepted: 9 April 2020 / Published: 14 April 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Crop Protection, Diseases, Pest and Weeds)
Rotation crops and biocontrol amendments were investigated for suppression of Rhizoctonia solani on potato (Solanum tuberosum) and their interactive effects on soil microbial communities. Greenhouse trials were conducted to evaluate selected rotation crops, including barley, common and “Lemtal” ryegrass, clover, potato, and combinations of barley with ryegrass or clover, for their effects on populations of R. solani and Rhizoctonia disease. Potato and clover preceding potato resulted in higher disease severity than most other rotations, whereas ryegrass reduced stem canker severity. In addition, all ryegrass treatments resulted in substantially higher populations of R. zeae. Field trials evaluating selected biocontrol treatments in combination with different rotations were conducted at two locations in Maine. Potatoes were treated with the biocontrol organisms Laetisaria arvalis, Trichoderma virens, or Bacillus subtilis and planted following rotation crops of barley and ryegrass, barley and clover, or potato. The barley/ryegrass rotation significantly reduced incidence and severity of stem canker and increased tuber yield at one location. Efficacy of the biocontrol treatments varied by rotation and location, with L. arvalis and T. virens reducing black scurf in some rotations and increasing some aspects of tuber yield at one location. Soil microbial community characteristics differed among rotation crops and biocontrol treatments. Significant crop by biocontrol interactions were observed demonstrating the complex interactions among rotation crops, biocontrol treatments, and soil microbial communities, as well as indicating that biocontrol can be enhanced within beneficial rotations. View Full-Text
Keywords: crop rotation; potato; Rhizoctonia solani; soil microbial communities; FAME; biocontrol crop rotation; potato; Rhizoctonia solani; soil microbial communities; FAME; biocontrol
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Larkin, R.P.; Brewer, M.T. Effects of Crop Rotation and Biocontrol Amendments on Rhizoctonia Disease of Potato and Soil Microbial Communities. Agriculture 2020, 10, 128.

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