Improvement of Soil Properties, Growth of Cucumber and Protection against Fusarium Wilt by Piriformospora indica and Two Industrial Organic Wastes
The current work was focused on characterizing bagasse ash (BA) and press mud (PM) as soil amendments and to study their effect in combination with the endophytic fungus Piriformospora indica on Fusarium wilt (FW) of cucumber caused by Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cucumerinum (Fo). Whereas BA and PM improved almost all physico-chemical properties of the soil evaluated, seed treatment with P. indica had no such effect. In shake culture in potato dextrose broth (PDB) medium amended with aqueous extracts of BA and PM, alone or in combination, production mycelial mass of Fo was significantly decreased by PM extract, while production mycelial mass of P. indica was highly improved. The colonization rate of cucumber roots by P. indica as determined by microscopy was highly increased by increasing amounts of BA, PM and BA+PM added to the soil. Seed treatment of cucumber with P. indica before plant cultivation in non-amended soil significantly decreased the disease severity of FW and improved plant growth. When seed treated with P. indica was sown into soil amended with BA, PM or the combination of both, the disease severity was even more reduced than after seed treatment with P. indica alone. In this respect, amendment with PM was more effective than with BA, and the combinations were more effective than the single treatments. Hence, there is a scope to integrate PM and BA as soil amendments in combination with P. indica for eco-friendly FW management, improving soil properties and growth of cucumber plants.
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