Impacts on soil microbial characteristics and their restorability with different soil disinfestation approaches in intensively cropped greenhouse soils.


Institute of Agricultural Resource and Environment, Jiangsu Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Nanjing, 210014, China. [Email]


The different impacts, especially on soil physicochemical and microbial characteristics, among disinfestation methods based on different principles (including physical, chemical, and biological) have not been illustrated well. Here, we used steam sterilization, dazomet fumigation, and reductive soil disinfestation (RSD) methods representative of physical, chemical, and biological soil disinfestation, respectively, to disinfest seriously degraded greenhouse soils before watermelon cultivation in one season. Compared with the control, RSD significantly decreased the soil nitrate content by 85.9% and the electrical conductivity by 52.0% and increased the soil pH to 7.44. Although all three soil disinfestations significantly decreased the abundance of the pathogen Fusarium oxysporum by 83.0-99.2%, their impacts on soil microbial characteristics were variable. Briefly, steam sterilization significantly changed multiple bacterial and fungal properties. Dazomet fumigation impacted mainly fungal properties, such as abundance, diversity, and community structure, but RSD significantly decreased bacterial diversity and altered the bacterial community structure. Although the differences mentioned above got smaller after watermelon cultivation, the plant performances differed dramatically in different soils. The largest plant biomass, fruit ratio, and yield were found in the RSD-treated soil, whereas the lowest fruit ratio and yield were found in the steam-sterilized soil. The soil nitrate content, electrical conductivity, bacterial diversity and community structure, and some specific microbial agents, such as Aspergillus, Cladosporium, and Pseudomonas, were correlated with plant performance. RSD is a promising soil disinfestation strategy to support plant growth in intensively cultivated greenhouse soils with serious problems, such as acidification, salinization, and pathogen accumulation.


Disinfestation processes,Microbiome,Plant growth,Soil chemical properties,