Impact of preplant soil treatments on survival of Phythophthora in citrus soils
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AbstractSeveral different approaches are used with respect to land preparation prior to replanting citrus in Arizona. A study was initiated to examine the effect of cultural preplant practices on the survival of Phytophthora in citrus orchard soils. In June, 1998, a 2-gallon volume of soil was collected from eight different sites within a mature lemon planting on a sandy soil in Yuma or a lemon planting on a heavier soil in Mesa, AZ. Each initial sample was pre-tested, found to contain Phytophthora parasitica, then thoroughly mixed and distributed into six 1-qt plastic containers, which were subjected to different environmental and cultural conditions. The soil in each container was tested for the presence of P. parasitica 1, 4 and 9 months after initiation of the study. The preliminary results of this ongoing study are as follows. Detection of P. parasitica was lower in non-irrigated as compared to irrigated soil. P. parasitica was not detected in non-irrigated soil subjected to a mean temperature of 38°C (100° F) for 3 months. During the 9-month period of time, detection of P. parasitica in soil planted to alfalfa was not reduced compared to soil planted to citrus. Of the treatments examined, dry summer fallow may be the most effective method of reducing the population of P. parasitica to below detectable levels; however, these preliminary findings must be validated by additional planned tests.