[nafex] FW: Planting Wheat May Help Apple Growers

Lon J. Rombough lonrom at hevanet.com
Wed Sep 6 11:45:42 EDT 2000


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This item is one of the news releases and story leads that ARS Information
distributes on weekdays to fax and e-mail subscribers. You can also get the
latest ARS news on the World Wide Web at
www.ars.usda.gov/is/pr/thelatest.htm.
* Feedback and questions to ARS News Service via e-mail: isnv at ars-grin.gov.
* ARS Information Staff, 5601 Sunnyside Ave., Room 1-2251, Beltsville MD
20705-5128, (301) 504- 1617, fax (301) 504-1648.

----------
From: "ARS News Service" <isnv at ars-grin.gov>
To: "ARS News List" <ars-news at ars-grin.gov>
Subject: Planting Wheat May Help Apple Growers 
Date: Wed, Sep 6, 2000, 7:09 AM


STORY LEAD:
Planting Wheat May Help Apple Growers Manage Disease
___________________________________________

ARS News Service
Agricultural Research Service, USDA
Kathryn Barry Stelljes, (510) 559-6069, kbstelljes at ars.usda.gov
September 6, 2000
___________________________________________

Growing wheat before planting a new apple orchard on former orchard land may
help growers prevent a crippling condition known as replant disease. Another
benefit: It could serve as an alternative to methyl bromide and other soil
fumigants typically used to sterilize old orchards before planting new ones.

When nothing is done between taking out an old orchard and putting in a new
one, the young trees are often stunted and have small, decayed root systems.

Plant pathologist Mark Mazzola at ARS' Tree Fruit Research Laboratory in
Wenatchee, Wash., discovered that in the Pacific Northwest, replant disease
seems to be caused by buildup of four types of soilborne fungi.

While soil where apple trees grow supports these fungi, wheat plants seem to
modify the soil to favor other microorganisms.  Mazzola found a bacterium in
some wheat soils, Pseudomonas putida, that can protect young apple roots
from the destructive fungi.  ARS has patented use of a strain of this
bacterium to prevent replant disease.

The next step is to determine how long wheat would have to be grown as a
rotation crop to change the soil microbial community enough to stave off
replant disease.  Mazzola will also look at whether growing the wheat as a
cover crop in existing orchards can reduce fungal populations sufficiently
to allow new trees to grow well.

ARS is the chief scientific agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The apple replant disease research is part of a nationwide program of
horticultural research within ARS. For more information on ARS research
programs that impact on horticulture, visit the web page for ARS national
programs in Crop Production, Product Value and Safety:
http://www.nps.ars.usda.gov/programs/cppvs.htm

An article about the replant research appears in the September issue of
Agricultural Research magazine and online at:
http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/AR/archive/sept00/rotate0900.htm
___________________________________________

Scientific contact: Mark Mazzola, ARS Tree Fruit Research Laboratory,
Wenatchee, Wash., phone (509) 664-2280, fax (509) 664-2287,
mazzola at tfrl.ars.usda.gov.
___________________________________________
This item is one of the news releases and story leads that ARS Information
distributes on weekdays to fax and e-mail subscribers. You can also get the
latest ARS news on the World Wide Web at
www.ars.usda.gov/is/pr/thelatest.htm.
* Feedback and questions to ARS News Service via e-mail: isnv at ars-grin.gov.
* ARS Information Staff, 5601 Sunnyside Ave., Room 1-2251, Beltsville MD
20705-5128, (301) 504- 1617, fax (301) 504-1648.









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