Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Dynamics of Soil Flora and Fauna in Biological Control of Soil Inhabiting Plant Pathogens

Author
item LARTEY, ROBERT

Submitted to: Plant Pathology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: December 8, 2005
Publication Date: February 1, 2006
Repository URL: http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/53806
Citation: Lartey, R.T. 2006. Dynamics of soil flora and fauna in biological control of soil inhabiting plant pathogens. Plant Pathology Journal. 5(2):125-142.

Interpretive Summary: The cropland soil, which is comprised of spermosphere, rhizosphere and bulk soil, is populated by a wide array of microbial inhabitants. These microbial inhabitants include the microflora, represented by bacteria, actinomyces, archaea, fungi and algae and the micro- and mesofauna, such as protozoa, nematodes, Acarids and Collembola. These organisms consist of saprophytes, parasites of plants and antagonists of other soil microbes, including some plant pathogens. The success of crops may be influenced directly by stimulation of their growth and indirectly by variety of interactions among these microbial inhabitants. These interactions may result in negative plant growth by causing a variety of diseases, positive plant growth through mutual benefits or no stimulation on plant growth through neutral effects. In addition, interactions also occur among these cropland microbial populations which also influences the health of crops. The most important of these, with regard to crop health is the antagonistic interactions between beneficial microbial inhabitants and pathogens which could impact biological control efficacy. Therefore, successful development of a biological control system against soil inhabiting plant pathogens requires good knowledge of the composition of the microbial inhabitants and an understanding of the interactive functions of microflora and fauna in the soil.

Technical Abstract: The cropland soil, which is comprised of spermosphere, rhizosphere and bulk soil, is populated by a wide array of microbial inhabitants. These microbial inhabitants include the microflora, represented by bacteria, actinomyces, archaea, fungi and algae and the micro- and mesofauna, such as protozoa, nematodes, Acarids and Collembola. These organisms consist of saprophytes, parasites of plants and antagonists of other soil microbes, including some plant pathogens. The success of crops may be influenced directly by stimulation of their growth and indirectly by variety of interactions among these microbial inhabitants. These interactions may result in negative plant growth by causing a variety of diseases, positive plant growth through mutual benefits or no stimulation on plant growth through neutral effects. In addition, interactions also occur among these cropland microbial populations which also influences the health of crops. The most important of these, with regard to crop health is the antagonistic interactions between beneficial microbial inhabitants and pathogens which could impact biological control efficacy. Therefore, successful development of a biological control system against soil inhabiting plant pathogens requires good knowledge of the composition of the microbial inhabitants and an understanding of the interactive functions of microflora and fauna in the soil.

Last Modified: 8/27/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page