Skip to main content
ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Genetic Improvement for Fruits & Vegetables Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #313114

Title: The soil microbiome – what does it tell us?

item Polashock, James
item OUDEMANS, PETER - Rutgers University

Submitted to: Meeting Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/10/2015
Publication Date: 2/3/2015
Citation: Polashock, J.J., Oudemans, P.V. 2015. The soil microbiome – what does it tell us?. Proceedings of the 2015 New Jersey Agricultural Convention and Trade Show. 127.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: When young blueberry bushes are planted in an established field that already contains mature blueberry bushes, the young bushes tend not to perform well. This syndrome is called replant disease. In other systems, such as apple replant disease, the causal organisms vary by geographic region and usually involve soil microbes such as fungal and bacterial pathogens. One of the treatments for replant disease is fumigation. However fumigation is not possible when planting individual bushes as replacements into a mature field. Furthermore, even when possible, i.e. when an entire field is being renovated, fumigation is non-selective and can destroy beneficial soil microorganisms. If the specific causal agent(s) of blueberry replant can be identified, this will allow more targeted approaches to mitigation. We hypothesized that comparison of all of the microorganisms that inhabit the root zone of blueberry plants in ‘good’ vs. ‘bad’ soil samples would provide to clues to which organisms might be the causal agents of replant disease. We identified approximately 400 fungal genera from 180 families in our samples as well as 558 bacterial genera from 226 families. Further analyses of these data will be discussed.