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Effects of Anaerobic Soil Disinfestation on Sclerotinia sclerotiorum in Paraguay

A. D. Sanabria-Velazquez, A. L. Testen, G. A. Enciso, L. C. Soilan, and S. A. Miller

March 2019


The effects of anaerobic soil disinfestation (ASD) on Sclerotinia sclerotiorum sclerotia viability was tested in four field trials in Paraguay. Plots were amended with wheat bran (20.2 Mg/ha), molasses (10.1 Mg/ha), or wheat bran (20.2 Mg/ha) plus molasses (10.1 Mg/ha), saturated with water, and covered with black plastic mulch for 3 weeks. Control plots were not amended but were saturated and either covered (anaerobic control) or maintained uncovered (aerobic control). Tubes painted with iron oxide paint were placed in soils to assess soil reducing conditions. Sclerotia were buried 6 cm deep in treated and control soils along with temperature data loggers. After 3 weeks, the viability of sclerotia was significantly lower in all ASD-treated soils (4 to 52%) compared with the aerobic control soil (100%), regardless of the carbon source used. Sclerotial viability was also significantly reduced compared with anaerobic controls at three sites, depending on the carbon source used. A significant negative correlation between soil reducing conditions and sclerotia viability was observed at all sites. Wheat bran and molasses are widely available and inexpensive in Paraguay, and ASD with these carbon sources provides smallholder South American vegetable farmers with a new option for sustainable management of Sclerotinia and potentially other soilborne pathogens.


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