ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Occurrence of soilborne diseases and root knot nematodes in strawberry plants grown on compacted rice straw bales compared with naturally infested soils
 
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Faculty of Agriculture, Suez Canal University and Ministry of Agriculture, Ismailia, Egypt
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
El-Marzoky Hanan Ahmed
Faculty of Agriculture, Suez Canal University and Ministry of Agriculture, Ismailia, Egypt
 
Journal of Plant Protection Research 2008;48(2):223–235
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ABSTRACT
The present investigation deals with a possible use of rice straw bales as “soilless” cultivation medium, thus escaping the problems inherent in the natural soils and avoiding a serious pollution when disposed about 5°C million tons of rice straw annually by burning. Strawberry fruits of good quality and quantity were harvested from plants cultivated on compacted rice straw bales in comparison with the control plots under natural soil conditions. A higher temperature of 2 to 5 in comparison to natural soil conditions favours all physiological activities including the absorption of nutrients by roots and thus stimulating the vegetative and the generative growth of strawberry plants. The pH values around the roots in straw bales ranged from 5.5 to 6.5, while values obtained around the root system in natural soil ranged from 7.5 to 8.5. So, growing strawberry on rice straw bales helps avoid and overcome the problem of alkalinity and salinity in the rhizosphere. This is very important, as strawberries are very sensitive to salinity. Fruit rot diseases reached 0.8% on rice straw bales while on the control plots these were about 52% of fruits were infected with fungi. Cultivating strawberry on rice straw bales keeps the fruits away from contacting the soil and thus limits the possibility of injection by soilborne fungi. The occurrence of damping-off, root rot, crown rot and root knot nematodes in strawberry plants grown on rice straw bales reached 4.0, 0.85, 0.35 and 0.0%, respectively. However, the corresponding figures for strawberry plants grown in natural soil under the same conditions were 27.0, 16.15, 11.70 and 13.20%, respectively, 135 days after planting. Isolation from strawberry plants grown in natural soil showing symptoms of crown rot and black root rot yielded several fungi identified as Phytophthora cactorum, olletotrichum fragariae, Pythium ultimum, Rhizoctonia solani and Fusarium oxysporum. The wilt symptoms observed on few strawberry plants on rice straw bales might be attributed to very sporadic contamination with soil articles or through irrigation water. Based on the above results, it could be recommended using rice straw bales as growing media to replace naturally infested soil, this can improve the production of strawberry under open field conditions in Egypt. Also, it is important to avoid the serious pollution when disposed rice straw by burning.
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
The authors have declared that no conflict of interests exist.
 
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