Improving Soil Health for Better Ginseng Growth

Jenn Hoskins
23rd March, 2024

Improving Soil Health for Better Ginseng Growth

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • In a study from Changchun University, soil treatments RSD and CSF both improved soil nutrients
  • RSD specifically boosted beneficial fungi and reduced harmful ones, aiding plant health
  • RSD also enhanced plant defense enzymes and reduced stress indicators more than CSF
In the realm of modern agriculture, maintaining soil health and combating plant diseases are pivotal challenges. Scientists from Changchun University of Chinese Medicine have recently shed light on these issues through a field experiment comparing two soil treatment methods: chemical soil fumigation (CSF) and reductive soil disinfestation (RSD)[1]. Both methods aim to rejuvenate soil and promote plant health, but their effectiveness, particularly in altering fungal communities that are crucial to soil ecology, had not been fully understood. The study focused on the effects of CSF, using a chemical called chloropicrin, and RSD, which utilizes animal feces, to determine how they improve soil properties, restructure fungal communities, and ultimately influence plant growth. Soil quality is essential for robust plant development, and the balance of microbial life within the soil plays a critical role in this. Fungi, for instance, can either support plant health or cause devastating diseases. Results from the study indicated that both RSD and CSF treatments enriched the soil with organic matter (OM), available nitrogen (AN), and available phosphorus (AP) when compared to untreated soil (CK). These nutrients are vital for plant growth and soil fertility. However, when delving deeper into the fungal communities, the researchers discovered that RSD had a unique advantage. It markedly increased the abundance of Chaetomium, a fungus known for its biocontrol properties, capable of fighting plant pathogens. Conversely, it reduced the presence of Neonectria, a harmful pathogen to plants. Moreover, RSD treated soils exhibited a more complex and interconnected microbial network. This complexity is a sign of a healthy soil ecosystem, with diverse interactions that can support plant health and suppress disease-causing organisms. Additionally, the study found that RSD had a significant positive impact on plant physiological characteristics, boosting antioxidant enzyme activities like superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), and peroxidase (POD), while decreasing malondialdehyde (MDA) and abscisic acid (ABA) content—both indicators of plant stress. The current findings build upon earlier research demonstrating the benefits of RSD. Previous studies have shown that RSD treatments, particularly when combined with certain additives like molasses or plant residues, can significantly alter soil bacterial communities and enhance soil health[2][3]. The introduction of beneficial microbes such as Paenibacillus sp. and the application of biochar have also been found to synergize with RSD, further suppressing soil-borne diseases like Fusarium wilt[2][4]. The latest research expands our understanding by highlighting RSD's capacity to not only influence bacterial communities but also to reshape fungal populations in favor of plant health. The interplay between these microbial groups is crucial, as they can collectively contribute to a more resilient soil environment. This study suggests that RSD, with its ability to promote beneficial fungi and create a robust microbial network, presents a more advantageous alternative to CSF for sustainable agriculture. In summary, the work conducted by Changchun University of Chinese Medicine provides compelling evidence that RSD is an effective strategy for enhancing soil quality and plant health. By fostering beneficial microbial communities and improving plant physiological responses, RSD stands out as a promising approach to support sustainable agricultural practices and ensure long-term soil vitality.

SustainabilityPlant ScienceAgriculture


Main Study

1) Facilitating Effects of Reductive Soil Disinfestation on Soil Health and Physiological Properties of Panax ginseng.

Published 21st March, 2024

Related Studies

2) Facilitating effects of the reductive soil disinfestation process combined with Paenibacillus sp. amendment on soil health and physiological properties of Momordica charantia.

3) Effects of Reductive Soil Disinfestation Combined with Liquid-Readily Decomposable Compounds and Solid Plant Residues on the Bacterial Community and Functional Composition.

4) Deciphering the Synergies of Reductive Soil Disinfestation Combined with Biochar and Antagonistic Microbial Inoculation in Cucumber Fusarium Wilt Suppression Through Rhizosphere Microbiota Structure.

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