Primary Faculty Mentor Name

Deborah Neher

Secondary Mentor NetID

tweicht

Secondary Mentor Name

Thomas Weicht

Status

Undergraduate

Student College

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Program/Major

Biological Sciences, Integrated

Primary Research Category

Biological Sciences

Presentation Title

Actinobacterial Diversity and Its Role in Compost and Soil Suppression of Rhizoctonia Solani

Time

3:00 PM

Location

Silver Maple Ballroom - Biological Sciences

Abstract

Rhizoctonia solani is a global fungal plant pathogen that causes a variety of plant diseases and is detrimental to many commercial crops. R. solani can be suppressed by competitive or antagonistic microbes indigenous to some composts and soils. Anaerobic Soil Disinfestation (ASD) and application of vermicompost are two pesticide-free techniques used to control persistent soilborne plant pathogens. This is the first study to evaluate ASD in Vermont. We compared suppressiveness achieved by ASD to a positive control (vermicompost) and untreated soil to test the hypothesis that abundance and diversity of actinobacteria increase after ASD. These organisms thrive in conditions that ASD produces, for example, extreme heat and copious labile carbon. A general plate competition assay was used to measure the amount of suppression on R. solani from the compost and soils. Suppression by specific groups was determined on starch casein agar. From these plates, cultures of suppressive actinobacteria were isolated and their functional diversity of carbon utilization was characterized by EcologTM plates. Among all compost and soil samples, the soil microbiomes were essential to suppressing R. solani, however the level of suppression was greatest from the ASD soil (pp < 0.5) and slightly more diverse suppressive actinobacteria, suggesting a promising outlook into using ASD soil to reduce R. solani plant infections.

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Actinobacterial Diversity and Its Role in Compost and Soil Suppression of Rhizoctonia Solani

Rhizoctonia solani is a global fungal plant pathogen that causes a variety of plant diseases and is detrimental to many commercial crops. R. solani can be suppressed by competitive or antagonistic microbes indigenous to some composts and soils. Anaerobic Soil Disinfestation (ASD) and application of vermicompost are two pesticide-free techniques used to control persistent soilborne plant pathogens. This is the first study to evaluate ASD in Vermont. We compared suppressiveness achieved by ASD to a positive control (vermicompost) and untreated soil to test the hypothesis that abundance and diversity of actinobacteria increase after ASD. These organisms thrive in conditions that ASD produces, for example, extreme heat and copious labile carbon. A general plate competition assay was used to measure the amount of suppression on R. solani from the compost and soils. Suppression by specific groups was determined on starch casein agar. From these plates, cultures of suppressive actinobacteria were isolated and their functional diversity of carbon utilization was characterized by EcologTM plates. Among all compost and soil samples, the soil microbiomes were essential to suppressing R. solani, however the level of suppression was greatest from the ASD soil (pp < 0.5) and slightly more diverse suppressive actinobacteria, suggesting a promising outlook into using ASD soil to reduce R. solani plant infections.