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A study of selected factors affecting efficacy of compost tea against several fungal pathogens of potato


Mengesha, WK and Gill, WM and Powell, SM and Evans, KJ and Barry, KM, A study of selected factors affecting efficacy of compost tea against several fungal pathogens of potato, Journal of Applied Microbiology, 123, (3) pp. 732-747. ISSN 1364-5072 (2017) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2017 The Society for Applied Microbiology

DOI: doi:10.1111/jam.13530


Aim: To investigate selected factors of two nonaerated compost teas (NCT) and mechanisms that influence the restriction of several fungal potato pathogens.

Methods and Results: Two NCTs, made from either commercial compost, (CCT) or vineyard compost (VCT), were tested for their ability to suppress potato pathogens. The VCT was more suppressive than CCT to mycelial growth of Alternaria solani and Rhizoctonia solani isolate 299, but not for R. solani isolate 422. Metagenomic studies of microbial diversity revealed that the CCT had higher fungal and bacterial diversity and richness than the VCT. Use of CCT significantly reduced lesion area of Alternaria alternata on detached leaves, however, a gum adjuvant did not lead to significantly greater control. Scanning microscopy showed that the spatial distribution of microbes from the CCT was altered with gum addition, to resemble what may have been a microbial biofilm.

Conclusion: We confirmed that each NCT could suppress the mycelial growth of selected potato pathogens in culture, and CCT reduced A. alternata lesions on detached leaves. Factors including concentration, microbial communities and physio-chemical properties could not be consistently linked to NCT efficacy.

Significance and Impact of Study: This study particularly highlights the application of scanning microscopy to study the interaction between pathogens and putative NCT microbes on foliar surfaces. This adds insight to mechanisms of NCT efficacy, along with physico-chemical and microbial characterization of the teas. This study shows the potential for the use of NCTs as a crop protection tool of low-cost which could be of particular benefit in smallholder agriculture.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:compost, biocontrol, potato, antifungal, pathogen, 16S and ITS sequencing, Altemaria, microbe-pathogen interaction, microbial diversity, Rhizoctonia, scanning electron microscope
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Horticultural production
Research Field:Horticultural crop protection (incl. pests, diseases and weeds)
Objective Division:Plant Production and Plant Primary Products
Objective Group:Horticultural crops
Objective Field:Field grown vegetable crops
UTAS Author:Mengesha, WK (Mr Wossen Mengesha)
UTAS Author:Gill, WM (Dr Warwick Gill)
UTAS Author:Powell, SM (Dr Shane Powell)
UTAS Author:Evans, KJ (Associate Professor Katherine Evans)
UTAS Author:Barry, KM (Associate Professor Kara Barry)
ID Code:120133
Year Published:2017
Web of Science® Times Cited:6
Deposited By:Agriculture and Food Systems
Deposited On:2017-08-11
Last Modified:2018-06-01

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