SLU news

Cole crops may decontaminate soil from pea root rot

Published: 04 June 2013

In the combat against pea root rot has SLU researchers studied the possibility of using brassicas with various high glucosinolate contents as catch crops and bio-decontaminators of the soil.

The researchers followed the development of both the damaging organism and the pea plants, their establishment and how they were affected by the catch crops. Two catch crops showed promising results in inhibiting the pest's development. The researchers found that the inhibitory effect partly depends on the catch crop’s chemical profile and how long they produce the inhibitory substances, but also which parts of the catch crop that was mulched into the soil.

Pea root rot, caused by Aphanomyces euteiches, is a severe disease on legumes. It is the plant's roots that are attacked resulting in reduced root volume, difficulty with water uptake and withering. The organism has the ability to form resting spores and therefore it can remain in the soil for up to 15 years. Particularly severe are the attacks on different kinds of peas.