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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Wenatchee, Washington » Physiology and Pathology of Tree Fruits Research » Research » Research Project #412750

Research Project: Integrating anaerobic soil disinfestation, crop roation and variety for disease management in strawberry production.

Location: Physiology and Pathology of Tree Fruits Research

Project Number: 2094-21220-002-29-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Oct 1, 2017
End Date: Aug 14, 2019

To address the priority area of improving prevention of soilborne diseases of crops which could cause major national economic and food security impacts, we propose an integrated research, education, and outreach project to evaluate mechanisms and environmental interactions underpinning disease suppression by anaerobic soil disinfestation (ASD) and host tolerance to enhance grower adoption. The loss of methyl bromide and restrictions on fumigant use make development of non-fumigant disease control options critical for many fruit and vegetable production systems. ASD is a non-fumigant technique capable of suppressing many soilborne pests across a diversity of cropping systems, however, capacity to utilize the technique for disease control with predictable outcomes is hindered by lack of knowledge concerning underlying mechanisms of action and environmental interactions with suppression of different pests. As such, we propose integrated activity across four states to: 1) Optimize Anaerobic Soil Disinfestation (ASD) for control of specific, 2) Determine carbon inputs that are most effective in ASD and the chemistry and biological mechanisms contributing to disease suppression, 3) Reduce N losses and greenhouse gas emissions associated with ASD use, 4) Conduct field trials of integrated management systems, 5) Monitor adoption and efficacy of alternatives being tested by growers; identify barriers to, and opportunities for, increased adoption, 6) With extension and industry groups, develop training materials with pathogen and location specific guidelines for implementation of integrated strawberry systems, and 7) Provide under-represented high school and college student research training opportunities.

The capacity of different control strategies and integrated methods for suppression of strawberry root infection, the effect of carbon input and the effect of environmental parameters on efficacy will be determined in greenhouse assays. The role of volatiles, metabolites, and soil microbial community on efficacy of anaerobic soil disinfestation will be examined in greenhouse trials. The results of greenhouse trials will guide implementation of future field trials. Subsequent field trials will explore the integration of effective treatments identified in greenhouse trials with the use of reduced rates of soil fumigants. Efficacy of these treatments will be established by monitoring soil and root populations of soil-borne plant pathogens, monitoring plant health, and collection of marketable yield data.