Phelipanche ramosa is the most damaging obligate flowering parasitic weed on wide species of cultivated plants. The semi-arid regions of the world are considered the main centers of this parasitic plant that causes heavy infestation. This is due to its production of high numbers of seeds (up to 200,000) that remain viable for extended periods (up to 20 years). In this study, 13 treatments for the control of Phelipanche were carried out, which included agronomic, chemical, and biological treatments and the use of resistant plant methods. In 2014, a trial was performed at the Department of Agriculture, Food and Environment, University of Foggia (southern Italy), on processing tomato (cv ‘Docet’) grown in pots filled with soil taken from a field that was heavily infested by P. ramosa). The tomato seedlings were transplanted on May 8, 2014, into a sandy-clay soil (USDA). A randomized block design with 3 replicates (pots) was adopted. During the growing cycle of the tomato, at 70, 75, 81 and 88 days after transplantation, the number of P. ramosa shoots emerged in each pot was determined. The tomato fruit were harvested on August 8, 2014, and the quantitative and qualitative parameters were determined. All of the data were subjected to analysis of variance (ANOVA) using the JMP software (SAS Institute Inc. Cary, NC, USA), and for comparisons of means (Tukey's tests). The data show that each treatment studied did not provide complete control against P. ramosa. However, the virulence of the attacks was mitigated by some of the treatments tried: radicon biostimulant, compost activated with Fusarium, mineral fertilizer nitrogen, sulfur, enzone, and the resistant tomato genotype. It is assumed that these effects can be improved by combining some of these treatments with each other, especially for a gradual and continuing reduction of the “seed bank” of the parasite in the soil.
The experimental trial was carried out in open field at Foggia district (Apulia Region, Southern Italy), during the spring-summer season 2014, in order to evaluate the effect of four biostimulant products (RadiconÒ, Viormon plusÒ, LysodinÒ and SiaptonÒ 10L), compared with a control (no biostimulant), on the infestation of processing tomato crop (cv Dres) by the chlorophyll-lacking root parasite Phelipanche ramosa. Biostimulants consist in different categories of products (microbial inoculants, humic and fulvic acids, hydrolyzed proteins and aminoacids, seaweed extracts) which play various roles in plant growing, including the improvement of crop resistance and quali-quantitative characteristics of yield. The experimental trial was arranged according to a complete randomized block design with five treatments, each of one replicated three times. The processing tomato seedlings were transplanted on 5 May 2014. Throughout the crop cycle, P. ramosa infestation was assessed according to the number of emerged shoots (branched plants) counted in each plot, at 66, 78 and 92 day after transplanting. The tomato fruits were harvested at full-stage of maturity on 8 August 2014. From each plot, the marketable yield was measured and the quali-quantitative yield parameters (mean weight, dry matter content, colour coordinate, colour index and soluble solids content of the fruits) were determined. The whole dataset was tested according to the basic assumptions for the analysis of variance (ANOVA) and the differences between the means were determined using Tukey’s tests at the 5% probability level. The results of the study showed that none of the applied biostimulants provided a whole control of Phelipanche, although some positive effects were obtained from their application. To this respect, the RadiconÒ appeared to be the most effective in reducing the infestation of this root-parasite in tomato crop. This treatment also gave the higher tomato yield.
Worldwide, about two-thirds of industrial and domestic wastewater effluent is discharged without treatment, which can cause contamination and eutrophication of the water. In particular, for Mediterranean countries, irrigation with treated wastewater would mitigate the water stress and support the agricultural sector. Changing global weather patterns will make the situation worse, due to increased susceptibility to drought, which can cause major environmental, social, and economic problems. The study was carried out in open field in an intensive agricultural area of the Apulian region in Southern Italy where freshwater resources are often scarce. As well as providing a water resource, irrigation with treated wastewater represents a significant source of nutrients for soil–plant systems. However, the use of wastewater might have further effects on soil. This study thus investigated the long-term impact of irrigation with reclaimed agro-industrial wastewater on the chemical characteristics of the soil. Two crops (processing tomato and broccoli) were cultivated in succession in Stornarella (Foggia) over four years from 2012 to 2016 using two types of irrigation water: groundwater and tertiary treated agro-industrial wastewater that had undergone an activated sludge process, sedimentation filtration, and UV radiation. Chemical analyses were performed on the irrigation waters and soil samples. The treated wastewater was characterised by high levels of several chemical parameters including TSS, EC, COD, BOD5, Na+, Ca2+, Mg2+, NH4-N, PO4-P, K+, SAR and CaCO3, as compared with the groundwater. However, despite these higher levels, the mean content of several chemical parameters in the soil did not show relevant differences between the irrigation treatments, in terms of the chemical features of the soil.
Phelipanche ramosa L. Pomel is a root holoparasitic weed plant of many cultivations, particularly of tomato (Lycopersicum esculentum L.) crop. In Italy, Phelipanche problem is increasing, both in density and in acreage. The biological control of this parasitic weed involves the use of living organisms as numerous fungi and bacteria that can infect the parasitic weed, while it may improve the crop growth. This paper deals with the biocontrol with microorganism, including Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi and fungal pathogens as Fusarium oxisporum spp. Colonization of crop roots by AM fungi can provide protection of crops against parasitic weeds because of a reduction in their seed germination and attachment, while F. oxisporum, isolated from diseased broomrape tubercles, proved to be highly virulent on P. ramosa. The experimental trial was carried out in open field at Foggia province (Apulia Region, Southern Italy), during the spring-summer season 2016, in order to evaluate the effect of four biological treatments: AM fungi and Fusarium oxisporum applied in the soil alone or combined together, and Rizosum Max® product, compared with the untreated control, to reduce the P. ramosa infestation in processing tomato crop. The principal results to be drawn from this study under field condition, in contrast of those reported previously under laboratory and greenhouse conditions, show that both AM fungi and F. oxisporum do not provide the reduction of the number of emerged shoots of P. ramosa. This can arise probably from the low efficacy seedling of the agent pathogens for the control of this parasite in the field. On the contrary, the Rizosum Max® product, containing AM fungi and some rizophere bacteria combined with several minerals and organic substances, appears to be most effective for the reduction of P. ramosa infestation.