Biology and Fertility of Soils

, Volume 55, Issue 8, pp 813–824 | Cite as

Suppression of Phytophthora blight of pepper by biochar amendment is associated with improved soil bacterial properties

  • Guangfei Wang
  • Roshini GovindenEmail author
  • Hafizah Yousuf Chenia
  • Yan MaEmail author
  • Dejie Guo
  • Gaidi Ren
Original Paper


Biochar amendment effectively controlled the Phytophthora blight of pepper and suppressed the pathogen abundance, with biochar applied just before transplanting (BC0) producing greater effects than that applied 20 days before transplanting (BC20). Biochar treatments stimulated the proliferation of total bacteria, Bacillus spp., Pseudomonas spp. , Streptomyces spp., and Sphingomonas spp. The proliferative effect of BC20 treatment gradually weakened compared to that of BC0 treatment with extended planting time. Moreover, biochar amendment strongly promoted the antagonist percentage and antagonistic ability of total bacteria, Bacillus spp., and Pseudomonas spp. and the promoting effect of BC0 treatment was stronger than that of BC20 treatment. Biochar-enriched Bacillus and Streptomyces strains, followed by Pseudomonas strains, were the best in terms of reducing the abundance of P. capsici and controlling Phytophthora blight of pepper. In addition, MiSeq sequencing data indicated that biochar treatments altered the soil bacterial community and enriched some beneficial bacteria, with BC0 treatment producing greater effects than BC20 treatment. Overall, the biochar-induced improvement of soil properties (particularly the abundance of biocontrol bacteria such as Bacillus spp., Pseudomonas spp. and Streptomyces spp. and bacterial antagonisms against P. capsici) may constitute one of the important mechansims of biochar-mediated control of Phytophora blight of pepper.


Biochar Application time Phytophthora blight of pepper Biocontrol bacteria Bacterial antagonism 



This research fund was provided by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31471949) and the Ministry of Science and Technology 973 project (2015CB150500). We thank Professor Zubin Xie in the Institute of Soil Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences for providing the straw biochar.

Supplementary material

374_2019_1391_MOESM1_ESM.docx (35 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 35 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Agricultural Sciences and EnvironmentsJiangsu Academy of Agricultural SciencesNanjingChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Agro-Environment in Downstream of Yangtze PlainMinistry of AgricultureNanjingChina
  3. 3.Discipline of Microbiology, School of Life Sciences, College of Agriculture, Engineering and ScienceUniversity of KwaZulu-NatalDurbanSouth Africa

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