Pattison, A.B. and Badcock, K. and Sikora, R.A. (2011) Influence of soil organic amendments on suppression of the burrowing nematode, Radopholus similis, on the growth of bananas. Australasian Plant Pathology, 40 (4). pp. 385-396.
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Article Link(s): http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13313-011-0055-9
Publisher URL: http://www.springerlink.com
Radopholus similis is a major constraint to banana production in Australia and growers have relied on nematicides to manage production losses. The use of organic amendments is one method that may reduce the need for nematicides, but there is limited knowledge of the influence of organic amendments on endo-migratory nematodes, such as R. similis. Nine different amendments, namely, mill mud, mill ash, biosolids, municipal waste compost, banana residue, grass hay, legume hay, molasses and calcium silicate were applied to the three major soil types of the wet tropics region used for banana production. The nutrient content of the amendments was also determined. Banana plants were inoculated with R. similis and grown in the soil-amendment mix for 12-weeks in a glasshouse experiment. Assessments of plant growth, plant-parasitic nematodes and soil nematode community characteristics were made at the termination of the experiment. Significant suppression of plant-parasitic nematodes occurred in soils amended with legume hay, grass hay, banana residue and mill mud relative to untreated soil. These amendments were found to have the highest N and C content. The application of banana residue and mill mud significantly increased shoot dry weight at the termination of the experiment relative to untreated soil. Furthermore, the applications of banana residue, grass hay, mill mud and municipal waste compost increased the potential for suppression of plant-parasitic nematodes through antagonistic activity. The application of amendments that are high in C and N appeared to be able to induce suppression of plant-parasitic nematodes in bananas, by developing a more favourable environment for antagonistic organisms.
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