Boosting Quality and Growth of Bonnet Bellflower Seedlings

Jenn Hoskins
8th March, 2024

Boosting Quality and Growth of Bonnet Bellflower Seedlings

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • In Gansu, soil fumigation with dazomet increased Codonopsis pilosula herb yield by 42.4%
  • The treatment reduced root rot disease in the herb by 83.9% and improved plant health
  • Effects varied by cultivar, with G2 showing the most significant improvement
Soil fumigation has long been a tool for controlling pests and promoting plant health, but its impact on the soil's intricate ecosystem is complex. At Gansu Agricultural University, researchers have been investigating the use of dazomet, a soil fumigant, to enhance the cultivation of Codonopsis pilosula, a plant valued in traditional medicine[1]. This recent study sheds light on how fumigation can influence not only the soil's microbial community but also the growth and health of this important herb. Codonopsis pilosula, a perennial herb, is known for its medicinal properties and is extensively cultivated in Gansu Province. The plant's roots, known as Radix, are sought after for their health benefits. However, cultivating this herb can be challenging due to soil-borne diseases that affect the plant's growth and yield. Dazomet is a fumigant that releases a gas capable of killing pests and weeds when applied to moist soil. It is a promising solution to these cultivation challenges. The study at Gansu Agricultural University involved a two-year experiment with four different cultivars of Codonopsis pilosula. Researchers compared the effects of dazomet-treated soil (F) to untreated control soil (CK) on the plants' growth and health. They observed that seed emergence, seedling re-green rate, and the activity of antioxidant enzymes in the plants were all enhanced by the soil fumigation. Additionally, the treatment reduced membrane lipid peroxidation, which is indicative of decreased stress in the plants. In terms of yield, the fumigated soil led to a significant increase of 42.4% on average, as well as a 34.87% increase in root viability when compared to the control. The incidence of root rot, a common and detrimental disease, was also notably reduced by 83.9% in the fumigated soil. Post-harvest assessments confirmed a 23.9% increase in yield and a 61.3% decrease in root rot incidence, with the medicinal materials deemed safe and free from harmful residues. The study's findings are significant for several reasons. Firstly, they demonstrate that soil fumigation with dazomet can effectively improve the quality and yield of Codonopsis pilosula, making it a viable option for farmers looking to enhance their crop. Secondly, the results indicate that the positive effects of dazomet on plant health are cultivar-specific, with some varieties responding better to treatment than others, particularly the G2 cultivar. While the benefits of dazomet fumigation are clear, it's important to consider the wider implications for soil health. Previous research has shown that soil fumigation can significantly reduce the abundance of microorganisms involved in nitrogen cycling, a key process for plant growth[2]. The reduction of these microbial populations can lead to increased emissions of nitrous oxide, a potent greenhouse gas. However, these microbial communities have also been found to recover over time once the inhibitory effects of the fumigation dissipate. In terms of soil carbon and nitrogen stocks, management practices, including tillage and crop rotation, play a crucial role. An earlier study in the northern Great Plains, USA, found that different crop rotations and tillage practices had varied effects on soil total carbon and nitrogen stocks[3]. This underscores the importance of considering the long-term impact of agricultural practices on soil health. The use of dazomet in combination with other fumigants like dimethyl disulfide has also been explored as an alternative to methyl bromide, a widely banned fumigant. These combinations have shown synergistic effects in controlling soilborne pests and maintaining high crop yields[4]. In conclusion, the study from Gansu Agricultural University provides valuable insights into the potential of dazomet to improve the cultivation of Codonopsis pilosula. It highlights the importance of considering the specific requirements of different cultivars and the need for careful management of soil health. As the agricultural community continues to seek out sustainable and effective cultivation practices, the role of soil fumigation and its impact on the environment and crop productivity will remain an important area of research.

BiochemPlant ScienceAgriculture

References

Main Study

1) Improvement in the quality and productivity of Codonopsis pilosula seedlings by dazomet soil fumigation.

Published 5th March, 2024

https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-024-56093-3


Related Studies

2) Responses of Nitrogen-Cycling Microorganisms to Dazomet Fumigation.

https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2018.02529


3) Soil total carbon and nitrogen and crop yields after eight years of tillage, crop rotation, and cultural practice.

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.heliyon.2017.e00481


4) Evaluation of the combination of dimethyl disulfide and dazomet as an efficient methyl bromide alternative for cucumber production in China.

https://doi.org/10.1021/jf501255w



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