CHANGES IN POPULATIONS OF MICROORGANISMS ASSOCIATED WITH ORGANIC AMENDMENTS AND BENZALDEHYDE TO CONTROL PLANT-PARASITIC NEMATODES
Keywords: benzaldehyde, biological control, organic amendments, plant-parasitic nematodes, soil microflora
AbstractOrganic amendments and naturally occurring aromatic compounds can effectively suppress numbers of plant-parasitic nematodes. However, little information is available on the mode of action of many of these materials, especially how they affect activities and populations of soil microorganisms. A study was conducted to determine the effects of combinations of organic amendments and benzaldehyde on plant-parasitic and non-parasitic nematode populations, soil microbial activity, and plant growth. Pine bark, velvetbean and kudzu were applied to soil at rates of 30 g/kg and paper waste at 40 g/kg alone and in combination with benzaldehyde (300 æ l/kg), for control of plant-parasitic nematodes. Pre-plant and post-harvest soil and soybean root samples were analyzed, and the number of parasitic and non-parasitic nematodes associated with soil and roots were determined. Soil samples were taken at 0, 2, and 10 weeks after treatment to determine population densities of bacteria and fungi. Treatment effects on microbial composition of the soybean rhizosphere were also determined by identifying microorganisms. Bacteria strains were identified using fatty acid analysis, and fungus identification was done using standard morphological measurements and appropriate taxonomic keys. Results showed that most amendments alone or in combination with benzaldehyde reduced damage from plant parasitic nematodes. Benzaldehyde applied alone or in combination with the amendments exerted a selective action on the activity and composition of microbial populations in the soybean rhizosphere. In control soils the bacterial flora was predominantly Gram-negative, while in soils amended with velvetbean or kudzu alone or with benzaldehyde, Gram-positive bacteria were dominant. Mycoflora promoted by the different amendments or combinations with benzaldehyde included species of Aspergillus, Myrothecium, Penicillium, and Trichoderma.