Disease suppressive soils vary in resilience to stress

Thomas Döring, Dagmar Rosslenbroich, Christian Giese, Miriam Athmann, CA Watson, Imre Vago, Janos Katai, Magdolna Tallai, Christian Bruns*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)
63 Downloads (Pure)


Soil-borne plant diseases are a major source of crop losses. Biologically active soils have the ability to suppresspathogenic infections of plants, but little is known how this essential soil function might be affected by abioticstresses. Using a model system with pea and its fungal pathogen Pythium ultimum we studied how the sup-pressiveness of different soils from a wide geographic range responds to combined heat and drought stress. We found that different soils strongly differ in their ability to suppress diseases and that a stress event of combinedheat (40 °C) and drought (−50% moisture) can strongly reduce this disease suppressiveness. Further, the response of suppressiveness to the stress depended on the provenance of the soil. Soils from a cool-climate site in Scotland were much more negatively affected than soils from warmer sites in Germany and Hungary. After being exposed to stress, one soil was able to regain suppressiveness after several weeks while the others were not,thereby collectively showing different degrees of resilience to the stress. Stress tolerance was negatively relatedto resilience. Our results suggest that microbial communities responsible for suppressiveness are adapted to prevailing climate, which has potentially severe consequences for the impact of climate change upon plant health
Original languageEnglish
Article number103482
Number of pages7
JournalApplied Soil Ecology
Early online date30 Jan 2020
Publication statusPrint publication - May 2020


  • Legumes
  • Pythium ultimum
  • Resilience
  • Soil-borne diseases
  • Stress
  • Suppressiveness


Dive into the research topics of 'Disease suppressive soils vary in resilience to stress'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this