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Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek. 2013 Jan;103(1):11-22. doi: 10.1007/s10482-012-9781-4. Epub 2012 Jul 31.

Effect of a rock dust amendment on disease severity of tomato bacterial wilt.

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Key Laboratory of Soil Environment and Pollution Remediation, Institute of Soil Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing, 210008, China.


Nutrients are important for growth and development of plants and microbes, and they are also important factors in plant disease control. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of a rock dust used as a fertilizer in maintaining health of soil and tomato plants under greenhouse conditions. Four treatments-including M (commercial organic fertilizer), A (rock dust soil amendment), M + A (commercial organic fertilizer + rock dust soil amendment) and CK (blank control)--were examined for their effect on soil properties, soil enzymatic activity, plant growth and control efficacy against tomato bacterial wilt. Treatments A and M + A were significantly better than other treatments in changing soil pH, increasing it from acidic (pH 5.13) to nearly neutral (pH 6.81 and 6.70, respectively). Enzymatic activities in soil were notably influenced by the different treatments--particularly treatment M + A, which increased the activities of alkaline phosphatase, urease, catalase and sucrase to a greater extent in soil. There was no significant difference (P < 0.05) in the effects of treatments A and M + A on tomato plant height, stem diameter and biomass. The effect of the four treatments on the chlorophyll content and photosynthetic rate (in decreasing order) were M + A, A, M and CK. The replicate greenhouse experiments showed that the control efficacies of treatments M + A, A, and M against bacterial wilt were respectively 89.99, 81.11 and 8.89 % in first experiment and with the efficacies of 84.55, 74.36, and 13.49 % in the replicate; indicating that rock dust played a key role in the plant-soil interaction. The raised soil pH and Ca content were the key factors for the rock dust amendment controlling bacterial wilt under greenhouse conditions.

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