Soil suppressiveness to Meloidogyne javanica as induced by organic amendments and solarization in greenhouse crops.
We assessed soil suppressiveness against root-knot caused by Meloidogyne javanica, following the incorporation of crop residues (organic amendments [OA]) and soil solarization, under agricultural conditions. Two field experiments were established in tomato greenhouses and a third in a nethouse for growing Antirrhinums, all infested with M. javanica. Dried residues of wild rocket (WR) were incorporated into the soil and then it was solarized to moderate temperatures to partially effect the pathogen population. Root galling on the roots of the successive tomato crop was significantly reduced to different levels by WR, solarization or their combination, in two experiments. Solarization, alone or combined with WR amendment, significantly reduced root knot incidence in the roots of snapdragon, but suppression of root galling in the roots of snapdragon in the following crop was not evident. We further assessed the potential of various herb residues, incorporated in small plots, and solarization to induce soil suppressiveness against root-knot caused by M. javanica. Amending soil with residues of WR, tarragon, peppermint or sage induced soil suppressiveness to root knot even when M. javanica was introduced into the soil after the termination of the treatment, and reduced the galling index in subsequently grown tomato plants, compared with non-amended soil. Our findings further validate the potential role of OA and solarization in inducing soil suppressiveness, which contributes to sustainable management of soilborne pathogens.