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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2012

Aphanomyces pea root rot disease and control with special reference to impact of Brassicaceae cover crops

Hossain, Md Shakhawat; Bergkvist, Goran; Berglund, Kerstin; Martensson, Anna; Persson, Paula


Pea root rot disease caused by the pathogen Aphanomyces euteiches deserves increased attention, since peas are an important cash crop and also improve the N balance in temperate agriculture. However, due to pea root rot it is difficult to cultivate peas as frequently and successfully as desired. In the search for biological measures to overcome this problem, attention has been drawn to the use of Brassicaceae plants as cover crops between main crops, since these can be effective catch crops for nutrients and also exert allelopathic effects. Many species within the Brassicaceae contain glucosinolates (GSLs). Their hydrolysis products, the volatile isothiocyanates (ITCs), have been shown to suppress soil-borne plant pathogens such as A. euteiches. In addition, Brassicaceae biomass releases water-soluble toxic substances such as oxazolidine-2-thione and supplies nutrients and organic matter. Overall, this influences the soil microbial community and the final suppression of pathogens. Due to the unpredictability of the control effect of Brassicaceae biomass incorporation into soil on the pathogen, there is a need to define the mechanisms behind suppression in the field situation. This review focuses on how incorporation of Brassicaceae biomass suppresses A. euteiches under field conditions and the effect on the emerging pea. Different factors influencing the severity of field pea (Pisum sativum L.) root rot disease are also discussed. One conclusion is that suppression of pea root rot depends on the quality and quantity of incorporated Brassicaceae biomass.


Disease; glucosinolates; isothiocyanates; oospores; soil compaction

Published in

Acta Agriculturae Scandinavica, Section B - Soil and Plant Science
2012, Volume: 62, number: 6, pages: 477-487
Publisher: Taylor & Francis: STM, Behavioural Science and Public Health Titles