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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Charleston, South Carolina » Vegetable Research » Research » Research Project #437748

Research Project: Developing Sustainable and Profitable Tools for Management of Tomato Fields Infested with Soilborne Pathogens, Nematodes, and Weeds

Location: Vegetable Research

Project Number: 6080-22000-029-026-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Oct 1, 2019
End Date: Aug 31, 2023

1. Evaluate the efficacy of Solanum sisymbriifolium as a resistant rootstock for management of root-knot nematodes, bacterial wilt, and southern blight. We will also examine the best management approach of non-grafted and grafted tomato to improve crop growth and yield, and eventually help lessen the additional cost of grafted transplants. 2. Evaluate anaerobic soil disinfestation (ASD) for the ability to reduce the incidence and population density of nematodes, bacterial wilt, southern blight, and weeds. 3. Integrate the best practices of grafting, non-fumigant nematicides, and ASD to control root-knot nematodes, bacterial wilt, southern blight, and weeds in tomato production. 4. Cost-return analysis of using grafting in combination with ASD compared to currently-used management treatments. 5. Communicate results and guidelines to stakeholders, scientists, and industry professionals in the Southeast and other regions in the U.S. through an aggressive extension and outreach program.

Researchers from ARS-Charleston, South Carolina, Clemson University, and University of Georgia, will collaborate to run field trials with side-by-side plots treated with anaerobic soil disinfestation (ASD) or a conventional fallow period. Subplots within each ASD treatment will be planted with either tomatoes grafted on the pest resistant Solanum sisymbriifolium root stocks, or tomatoes grafted onto themselves. Each ASD treatment plot will be assessed for presence of pathogens before, during, and after planting. Tomatoes plots will also be assessed for yield, disease incidence, and disease severity of each pathogen. The trials will be replicated in separate fields in successive years, and if differences are detected in ASD treatments in the first year, second and third year tomato plantings will be undertaken to assess potential multi year effects of ASD treatment.