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Open AccessArticle

Whey: The Soil Bio-Community Enhancer That Selectively Controls Root-Knot Nematodes

1
Benaki Phytopathological Institute, 8 S. Delta Str., Department of Pesticides’ Control and Phytopharmacy, 14561 Athens, Greece
2
Department of Ecology, School of Biology, Aristotle University, 54124 Thessaloniki, Greece
3
Department of Soil Science of Athens, Institute of Soil and Water Resources, Hellenic Agricultural Organization- DEMETER, 14123 Athens, Greece
4
Pesticide Science Laboratory, School of Agriculture, Faculty of Agriculture Forestry and Natural Environment, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54124 Thessaloniki, Greece
5
School of Science & Technology, International Hellenic University, 57001 Thessaloniki, Greece
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Plants 2019, 8(11), 445; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8110445
Received: 26 August 2019 / Revised: 28 September 2019 / Accepted: 9 October 2019 / Published: 23 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant-Parasitic Nematode Management)
To date, it is mandatory for ecofriendly pest-management tools to be used in agriculture. Whey is a dairy-processing waste, a plant and soil chemical and fungicidal basic substance. The beneficial effect of whey on soil microorganisms, enzymatic activities, and free-living nematodes—combined with its toxic activity on the plant parasites—forms root knot nematodes. In this study, this finding is reported for the first time. A drip-irrigating tomato plant combined with whey in water at 3.125% (v/w) and 6.25% (v/w) dose dependently promoted Gram+ and Gram− bacteria, actinomycetes, and fungi biomass. Respectively, whey treatment and duration augmented the bacterial feeding nematodes along with the soil enzymatic activities, e.g., alkaline phosphatase, dehydrogenase, and urease. The counterpart for these soil organisms’ and enzymes’ functionality is the decomposition of organic matter, nutrient mineralization and cycling. Additionally, whey applied at 6.25% (v/w) every 10 days in a field experiment exhibited an efficacy of 70% on root knot nematodes. It is calculated that the EC50/3d value paralyzes in vitro Meloidogyne javanica, which was 3.2% (v/v). Conclusively, the soil application of whey could be a sustainable and ecofriendly method to combat the root knot nematodes and additionally to enhance soil biotic components. View Full-Text
Keywords: Meloidogyne spp.; soil microbes; soil free-living nematodes; soil enzyme activities Meloidogyne spp.; soil microbes; soil free-living nematodes; soil enzyme activities
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Ntalli, N.; Tsiafouli, M.A.; Tzani, K.; Mavridi, O.; Oplos, C.; Menkissoglu-Spiroudi, U.; Monokrousos, N. Whey: The Soil Bio-Community Enhancer That Selectively Controls Root-Knot Nematodes. Plants 2019, 8, 445.

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