Potential for suppression of Rhizoctonia root rot is influenced by nutrient (N and P) and carbon inputs in a highly calcareous coarse-textured topsoil

TitlePotential for suppression of Rhizoctonia root rot is influenced by nutrient (N and P) and carbon inputs in a highly calcareous coarse-textured topsoil
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsDavey RS, McNeill AM, Barnett SJ, Gupta VVSR
JournalSoil Research
Pagination-
KeywordsKeywords: calcareous, microbial diversity, nitrogen, phosphorus, soil-borne diseases, Rhizoctonia, stubble management, suppression.
Abstract

Bioassays were undertaken in a controlled environment to assess whether the potential for suppression of Rhizoctonia root rot of wheat, in a highly calcareous topsoil, was positively influenced by nutrient (nitrogen (N) or phosphorus (P)) addition and whether any disease suppression response to augmented nutrition was affected by the addition of carbon (C), either as a readily available C source (sucrose) or as wheat stubble. The soil was P deficient, which limited plant growth, populations of putatively beneficial soil microorganisms, and microbial activity and diversity. This ultimately reduced potential for suppression of Rhizoctonia solani AG8. Addition of fertiliser P to the soil increased R. solani AG8 DNA and percent root infection but not the effectiveness of the pathogen. A positive effect of P fertiliser on plant growth partially compensated for the negative effect of increased root infection. Addition of P increased DNA for Microbacterium spp. where labile C had been added and in the presence of plant roots. Stubble addition alone, after 6 weeks of incubation, increased DNA for Pantoea agglomerans, Trichoderma A and Microbacterium spp. although differences in microbial activity and diversity between stubble treatments were only detected after the bioassay had commenced and P was added. Fertiliser P addition to stubble-amended soil resulted in less Rhizoctonia infection compared with that in soil without P or stubble addition. Effectiveness of R. solani AG8 was decreased by 50% with stubble amendment. The application of N alone did not have a marked effect on plant growth or potential for suppression of Rhizoctonia root disease. Agronomic management practices that affect quantity and lability of C input to soil, when combined with strategic P fertiliser decisions, are likely to improve the potential for development of suppression of Rhizoctonia root rot disease in cereal crops on alkaline and highly calcareous soils.

Short TitleSoil Res