Background and aims
Biochars are recognised for their ability to improve soil functions and to stimulate plant defense mechanisms. We evaluated the response of Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. lycopersici chlamydospores to tomato plants grown in biochar and compost amended soil to get a deeper insight into the tomato-Fusarium pathosystem.
Wood chips and green waste biochar in combination with compost (‘WCBcomp and GWBcomp respectively) were studied for their ability to suppress the Fusarium chlamydospores infectivity. Plant growth parameters and in vitro effects on chlamydospores were determined.
The ‘GWBcomp soil amendment stimulated plants growth and gaseous exchange rates and had a suppressive effect on the chlamydospore infectivity in comparison with the ‘WCBcomp treatment and the treatment containing compost only. The germination rate of chlamydospores was unaffected by the source of root exudates, whereas the mycelial growth was significantly higher in root exudates from chlamydospore inoculated plants grown in ‘WCBcomp amended soil unlike to ‘GWBcomp amended soil.
Overall, our findings indicate that both biochars had a variable effect on chlamydospores. We conclude that soil amendment with garden waste biochar and compost exhibit a great potential in suppressing Fusarium chlamydospore infectivity and alleviating pathogeninduced physiological stress in tomato plants.