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Article

Response of Cover Crops to Phytopythium vexans, Phytophthora nicotianae, and Rhizoctonia solani, Major Soilborne Pathogens of Woody Ornamentals

1
Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, College of Agriculture, Tennessee State University Otis L. Floyd Nursery Research Center, McMinnville, TN 37110, USA
2
Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Clemson University, Edisto Research and Education Center, Blackville, SC 29817, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Ana Isabel López-Sesé
Agriculture 2021, 11(8), 742; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11080742
Received: 27 June 2021 / Revised: 30 July 2021 / Accepted: 3 August 2021 / Published: 5 August 2021
Management of plant diseases is a subject of concern for researchers as well as growers. Different management practices are being developed and used to combat the rising number of plant pathogens, which threaten nursery crop production. Use of cover crops for sustainable management of soilborne diseases is being explored as an alternative strategy to the chemicals. However, the potential threat of these cover crops acting as a secondary host of these devastating soilborne pathogens has not been described. We studied the response of the major cover crops being used by woody ornamental growers in the Southeastern United States to Phytopythium vexans, Phytophthora nicotianae, and Rhizoctonia solani in greenhouse conditions to identify the effective cover crops that can be used in a nursery field production system. Data related to post-emergence damping-off and plant growth parameters (plant height increase and fresh weight) were recorded. Similarly, cover crop roots were assessed for root rot disease severity using a scale of 0–100% roots affected. Among the tested cover crops, the grass cover crops triticale (×Triticosecale Wittm. ex A. Camus.), annual ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum L.), Japanese millet (Echinochloa esculenta (A. Braun) H. Scholz), and the legumes Austrian winter pea (Pisum sativum var. arvense (L.) Poir) and cowpea ‘Iron and Clay’ (Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp.), showed lower root rot disease severity and post-emergence damping-off in the soil inoculated with P. nicotianae, R. solani, or P. vexans compared to the other crops. Since these cover crops can act as non-host crops and benefit the main crop in one way or another, they can be used in the production system. Further research is recommended to evaluate their performance in a natural field setting. View Full-Text
Keywords: soilborne diseases; nursery crops; cover crops; secondary host; susceptibility soilborne diseases; nursery crops; cover crops; secondary host; susceptibility
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MDPI and ACS Style

Panth, M.; Witcher, A.; Baysal-Gurel, F. Response of Cover Crops to Phytopythium vexans, Phytophthora nicotianae, and Rhizoctonia solani, Major Soilborne Pathogens of Woody Ornamentals. Agriculture 2021, 11, 742. https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11080742

AMA Style

Panth M, Witcher A, Baysal-Gurel F. Response of Cover Crops to Phytopythium vexans, Phytophthora nicotianae, and Rhizoctonia solani, Major Soilborne Pathogens of Woody Ornamentals. Agriculture. 2021; 11(8):742. https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11080742

Chicago/Turabian Style

Panth, Milan, Anthony Witcher, and Fulya Baysal-Gurel. 2021. "Response of Cover Crops to Phytopythium vexans, Phytophthora nicotianae, and Rhizoctonia solani, Major Soilborne Pathogens of Woody Ornamentals" Agriculture 11, no. 8: 742. https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11080742

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