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Dong Sub Kim, Mark Hoffmann, Steven Kim, Bertha A. Scholler and Steven A. Fennimore

Steam has long been used to disinfest greenhouse soils. However, there is increasing interest in expanding the use of steam for in-field soil disinfestation as an alternative to chemical fumigants. Previous studies demonstrated that allyl-isothiocyanate (AITC) reduced viability of weed seeds and plant pathogen propagules, but AITC has a low vapor pressure and is relatively immobile in soil. Heat has been used in the past to enhance the mobility of soil fumigants such as methyl bromide (i.e., “hot gassing”). The effect of steam heat on the mobility of AITC is unknown. The objective of this study was to investigate the potential synergistic effect of steam plus ATIC against weed seeds and a plant pathogen. AITC alone did not reduce the viability of the four weed species and the number of Verticillium dahliae microsclerotia. The steam + AITC treatment reduced the viability of V. dahliae at 12.5 and 18 cm distances by 82% and 88%, respectively, and knotweed and nettle seeds at 70 cm from injection point by 75% and 86%, respectively, from the center of microplots compared with steam alone. The results suggest that AITC and steam have a complementary effect on soilborne pests because steam increases the mobility of AITC.

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Yun-Chan Huh, Du-Hyun Kim, Sang-Gyu Lee, Kyoung-Sub Park, Dong-Kum Park, Young-Hoe Woo and Jung-Myung Lee

Growth response of `Sambok Honey' watermelon grafted onto different rootstocks, including four Citrullus rootstocks and three other cucurbitaceous rootstocks, was evaluated at low and normal temperature regimes. Marked reduction in plant growth rate was observed in plants grown at low temperatures as compared to those grown at normal or optimal temperatures. Relative growth reduction rates were 40% to 48% for vine length, 39% to 51% for total leaf area, 37% to 60% for shoot fresh weight, and 50% to 79% for shoot dry weight, respectively. Watermelon rootstock PI 482322 showed comparable plant growth as the most popular rootstock (Shintozwa pumpkin) even at low temperatures. `Sambok Honey' watermelon grafted onto watermelon hybrids `PI 271969 × PI 296341' and `PI 271769 × Calhoun Gray', showed comparable plant growth as FR Dantos bottle gourd rootstock. Index of growth ability at low temperature (IGALT), which was calculated on the basis of reduced rate of vine length, dry weight, and leaf area, was comparatively high in C. martinezii, Shintozwa, PI 482322, and `PI 271769 × PI 296341' rootstocks (50% or higher) and lowest in own-rooted `Sambok Honey' or in watermelon plants on `Knight' rootstock. Watermelon hybrids `PI 271969 × PI 296341' and `PI 271769 × Calhoun Gray' exhibited better or at least comparable growth at low temperatures as compared to `FR Dantos', thus confirming the feasibility of using watermelon rootstocks even in winter greenhouse conditions.