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IOBC/WPRS Bulletin

Pasternak, Z.

Application of biochar to soil results in long term sequestration of fixed carbon as well as improved soil quality and crop productivity. Furthermore, recent studies conducted in our laboratory indicate that soil-applied biochar promotes systemic resistance of plants to several prominent foliar pathogens in a variety of crops such as tomato, pepper and strawberry. We hypothesize that this phenomenon may be at least partially attributed to root-associated microbial elicitors whose presence is somehow augmented in the biochar-amended soils. To explore this hypothesis, we compared the bacterial community composition on roots of 3-month old pepper plants in biochar-amended and nonamended potting mixtures, using pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA gene tags. Flavobacterium was the most abundant genus detected on the roots, and relative abundance of this group was almost three-fold higher in the biochar-amended samples then in the non-amended samples. Research is currently focusing on the direct biocontrol capacity of root-associated flavobacterial isolates toward phytopathogenic fungi and nematodes and their potential to induce resistance in plants against foliar pathogens.

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Biochar soil amendment: pinpointing microbial elucidators of induced systemic plant resistance [abstract]
71

Pasternak, Z.

Application of biochar to soil results in long term sequestration of fixed carbon as well as improved soil quality and crop productivity. Furthermore, recent studies conducted in our laboratory indicate that soil-applied biochar promotes systemic resistance of plants to several prominent foliar pathogens in a variety of crops such as tomato, pepper and strawberry. We hypothesize that this phenomenon may be at least partially attributed to root-associated microbial elicitors whose presence is somehow augmented in the biochar-amended soils. To explore this hypothesis, we compared the bacterial community composition on roots of 3-month old pepper plants in biochar-amended and nonamended potting mixtures, using pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA gene tags. Flavobacterium was the most abundant genus detected on the roots, and relative abundance of this group was almost three-fold higher in the biochar-amended samples then in the non-amended samples. Research is currently focusing on the direct biocontrol capacity of root-associated flavobacterial isolates toward phytopathogenic fungi and nematodes and their potential to induce resistance in plants against foliar pathogens.

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