Anaerobic soil disinfestation (ASD) has been shown to be effective in the control of a wide range of soil–borne plant pathogens but has not been examined as a means for disease control in perennial fruit crops such as apple. Since ASD has demonstrated a broad spectrum of biological activity, it may be well suited as an alternative to current fumigation–based control of apple replant disease (ARD) which is caused by a diverse pathogen complex. The efficacy of ASD for control of ARD pathogens was evaluated in growth chamber experiments using soils from two orchard sites having a history of the disease. Suppression of Pratylenchus penetrans apple root densities was dependent upon carbon source utilized during the ASD process. Volatiles emitted during the anaerobic phase from soils treated with ethanol, grass residues, or Brassica juncea seed meal as the carbon input effectively retarded growth of Rhizoctonia solani AG–5, Pythium ultimum and Fusarium oxysporum. Each carbon amendment generated a unique volatile profile produced in the treated orchard soil during ASD. Allyl isothiocyanate (AITC) and dimethyl trisulphide (DMTS) were emitted from B. juncea SM treated soils whereas the latter and 2–ethyl–1–hexanol were detected in soils treated with grass residues. When assayed individually using pure standards, Decanal, DMTS, and AITC retarded in vitro growth of all three fungal/oomycete pathogens. Nonanal was inhibitory toward only P. ultimum and R. solani AG–5, whereas 2–ethyl–1–hexanol only suppressed growth of P. ultimum. AITC and DMTS caused significantly higher mortality of P. penetrans compared to other tested volatiles. These findings demonstrate that carbon source–dependent volatile chemistries contribute significantly but not exclusively to suppression of certain ARD pathogens during the ASD process.
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