Monitoring occurrence and relative levels of rhizosphere microorganisms on Rockwool tomato crops across the 2012/2013 growing season
Scott, George (2014) Monitoring occurrence and relative levels of rhizosphere microorganisms on Rockwool tomato crops across the 2012/2013 growing season. MRes thesis, University of Nottingham.
The tomato is the 8th most economically important agricultural product and the 4th most economically important crop in the world. The UK delivers the 3rd highest tomato yields globally. Such intensive production is due to the adoption of soilless growing techniques in greenhouses utilising assimilation lighting and heating along with the addition of CO2 to extend the growing season and maximise yield. Soilless growing systems reduce the abundance of soil-borne pathogens on the plant roots but may pose increase risk from water-borne pathogens such as the oomycetes. Government pressure to increase consumer safety and reduce environmental impact has led to a reduction in the use of chemical pesticides and an increase in fertigation solution recycling. This creates a situation in which disease risk may be increased and the methods by which you can control the disease are reduced. In this study the microbial populations, associated with the rhizosphere, were monitored via a small scale microarray. Crops grown on three contrasting fertigation systems pSSF (part slow sand filtration), SSF (slow sand filtration) and a run-to-waste (RTW) system were monitored every two weeks throughout the 2012-2013 growing season and two crops grown at a nursery utilising two physical treatments, heat and UV, were monitored at four points during the season. Finally, rapid in-house real-time diagnostic assays utilising loop mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) were developed.
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