Suppression of banana Panama disease induced by soil microbiome reconstruction through an integrated agricultural strategy

Zongzhuan Shen, Chao Xue, Christopher Penton, Linda S. Thomashow, Na Zhang, Beibei Wang, Yunze Ruan, Rong Li, Qirong Shen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


Fusarium wilt disease of banana, caused by the fungus Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense race 4, is a serious soil-borne fungal disease that currently threatens worldwide banana production. No single agricultural practice has yet been developed to effectively manage this disease. In the present study, greenhouse experiments were conducted to evaluate the effect of an integrated biofertilizer application after ammonia fumigation to enhance control of Fusarium wilt disease in severely infected banana mono-cropped soils. Quantitative PCR and high-throughput sequencing were used to characterise soil microbial community structure and the results from both two-season experimental studies showed that biofertilizer application after ammonia fumigation significantly reduced the incidence of banana Panama disease by approximately 55% and promoted the plant biomass, compared to the control application of cow manure to non-fumigated soil. Ammonia fumigation significantly reduced total fungal and F. oxysporum abundances and bacterial and fungal diversities. Biofertilizer application after fumigation further depleted the abundance of the pathogen. Biofertilizer application and fumigation altered the soil microbial community composition with the bacterial community responding first to fumigation, while the fungal community responded first to fertilization. Although Bacillus, including our inoculated strain, was not enriched after biofertilization, putative beneficial microbes such as Paenibacillus, Virgibacillus, Nitrosomonas, and Nitrobacter, were significantly enriched by ammonia fumigation and biofertilizer application, and were significantly correlated with disease suppression or increased plant biomass. Furthermore, fumigation and biofertilization significantly increased the soil pH and nutrient contents, with concomitant effects on the microbial community. Overall, the observed disease suppression and increased plant biomass resulting from both soil fumigation and biofertilization after banana cropping can be attributed to the reduced abundance of F. oxysporum and general suppression from altered soil properties that may enable the establishment of a beneficial soil microbiome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)164-174
Number of pages11
JournalSoil Biology and Biochemistry
StatePublished - Jan 2019


  • Biofertilizer
  • Fumigation
  • Fusarium wilt disease
  • HiSeq sequencing
  • Microbial diversity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Soil Science


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