Submitted to: Journal of Nematology
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/24/2005
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Interpretive Summary: Crop management practices that reduce losses to plant-parasitic nematodes are often the same practices recommended for establishing and maintaining productive soils and healthy crops in general. These practices include use of legume cover crops and addition of organic matter to soil, which increase soil nitrogen content and create environmental conditions that are less favorable for nematodes. In addition to improving soil nitrogen content and texture, use of cover crops and organic amendments enhance populations of beneficial microorganisms in soil. These beneficial microorganisms also help to reduce damage to crops by serving as antagonists to plant-parasitic nematodes, and by inducing systemic resistance to nematodes in crop plants. Studies were performed to assess the effects of legume cover crops and organic amendment on populations of beneficial and pathogenic microorganisms in the rhizosphere of pepper.
Technical Abstract: Effective nematode management strategies are closely related to crop management practices that improve soil fertility and the ability of plants to tolerate stress from plant-parasitic nematodes. Use of nematode-suppressive cover and green manure crops often reduce nematode activity and improve crop health by increasing soil organic matter, releasing allelopathic compounds, and by supporting beneficial rhizosphere microbial populations. These beneficial soil microorganisms improve crop health by increasing the availability and uptake of mineral nutrients, serving as antagonists to pathogens, and inducing systemic resistance. Up to 10% of rhizobacteria isolated from crops are antagonistic or suppressive toward plant-parasitic nematodes. The most predominant genera of beneficial bacteria are Pseudomonas spp. and Bacillus spp., both of which are considered important pathogen antagonists in most soil ecosystems. Establishment of beneficial rhizosphere bacteria using cultural practices such as the use of rotation, cover, and green manure crops provides an opportunity to improve nematode management by integration of cultural practices with more sustainable nitrogen management techniques.