Rootstock effect on soil ecology in a young peach orchard

C.L. Fisk, C. Tu, D.F. Ritchie, M.L. Parker, G.L. Reighard
Peach tree short life (PTSL) is a disease complex impacted by many factors, including choice of rootstock and inherent changes in the rhizosphere. The effect of six genetically diverse peach rootstocks on soil microbial biomass carbon (MBC), microbial biomass nitrogen (MBN), soil microbial respiration (SMR), net nitrogen mineralization (NNM), and endomycorrhizal fungal colonization of peach roots was studied in a peach orchard in the second leaf at the Sandhills Research Station in North Carolina, USA. The research was conducted in an orchard planted as part of the NC-140 Regional Rootstock Research Project. Slight differences between rootstocks in MBC and SMR were apparent in the fall, but were not related to rootstock species parentage. In the spring, soil at the dripline of ‘Krymsk® 1’ rootstock had the highest SMR, while in the fall, soil around ‘Empyrean® 2’ (aka Penta) had the highest SMR and ‘Krymsk® 1’ had the lowest. Microbial respiration changes between seasons and rootstocks may be a function of the microbial ecology of the rootstock’s rhizosphere or a symptom of failing peach tree health. ‘ControllerTM 5’ and ‘VikingTM’ had the highest endomycorrhizal root colonization while ‘Guardian®’ and ‘Empyrean® 2’ had the lowest. The ‘Guardian®’ rootstock’s purported resistance to PTSL and its tolerance of nematodes do not appear to be related to greater association with mycorrhizal fungi.
Fisk, C.L., Tu, C., Ritchie, D.F., Parker, M.L. and Reighard, G.L. (2018). Rootstock effect on soil ecology in a young peach orchard. Acta Hortic. 1228, 265-272
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2018.1228.40
Prunus persica, rhizosphere, arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi

Acta Horticulturae