Institute of Plant Protection, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing 100193, China; State Key Laboratory for Biology of Plant Disease and Insect Pests, Beijing 100193, China. Electronic address: [Email]
Chloropicrin (Pic) and biofumigation are both considered effective chemical and non-chemical alternatives to methyl bromide, respectively, for controlling crop-limiting soil-borne pests and diseases. In this study, we evaluated the effects of Pic alone and 'chloropicrin alternated with biofumigation' (CAB) on the soil's physico-chemical properties and strawberry yield, as well as their effects on soil bacterial and fungal communities. The contents of NO3--N, available phosphorus and potassium, and electrical conductivity were all significantly increased when CAB was used. In addition, CAB also significantly increased the strawberry marketable yield. High-throughput gene sequencing showed the species abundance of some soil bacteria and fungi was significantly increased such as the phyla Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Actinobacteria and Ascomycota when CAB was used. However, CAB decreased the relative abundance of the phyla Firmicutes, Chloroflexi, Gemmatimonadete and Zygomycota. These results indicated that CAB could improve the physico-chemical properties of soil for strawberry production, increase the genetic diversity of microbes in the soil and enhance marketable fruit yield.