Manipulating the soil microbiomes during a community recovery process with plant beneficial species for the suppression of Fusarium wilt of watermelon

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Abstract

Fusarium wilt is a devastating disease which impacts watermelon production. Soil fumigation using dazomet followed by biological organic fertilizer was applied to suppress the Fusarium wilt disease. We propose that fumigation suppresses the soil indigenous community, especially the soil-borne pathogens, while the utilization of bio-organic fertilizer facilitates the recovery of the soil microbiome to a beneficial, suppressive state through the introduction of plant growth-promoting microorganisms. Greenhouse experiment showed that applied biological organic fertilizer after dazomet fumigation effective restrain the disease incidence with a 93.6% disease control. Fumigation strongly decreased soil microbial diversity and altered relative taxa abundances, suggesting the possibility of niche release by the resident soil microbial community. Fumigation followed by bio-fertilizer transformed the soil microbial community composition and resulted in higher relative abundances of beneficial microbial groups such as Bacillus (8.5%) and Trichoderma (13.5%), coupled with lower Fusarium abundance compared to other treatments. Network analysis illustrated that soil fumigation decreased interactions within the soil microbial community with less nodes and links while bio-fertilizer addition promoted node interactions. In addition, bio-fertilizer addition after fumigation resulted in the beneficial species becoming the key network connectors. Collectively, fumigation appears to release the resident soil niche resulting in lower diversity while the beneficial microbes introduced by bio-fertilizer addition colonize these niches, leading to a more complex community with fewer pathogens that suppresses Fusarium wilt disease incidence.

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Zhang, X., Xue, C., Fang, D., He, X., Wei, M., Zhuo, C., … Shen, Q. (2021). Manipulating the soil microbiomes during a community recovery process with plant beneficial species for the suppression of Fusarium wilt of watermelon. AMB Express, 11(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13568-021-01225-5

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