Sim, C.M.; Seong, B.J.; Kim, D.W.; Kim, Y.B.; Wi, S.G.; Kim, G.; Oh, H.; Kim, T.J.; Chung, B.Y.; Song, J.Y.; Kim, H.G.; Oh, S.K.; Shin, Y.D.; Seok, J.H.; Kang, M.Y.; Lee, Y.; Radebe, M.J.; Kardjilov, N.; Honermeier, B.: Continuous cropping of endangered therapeutic plants via electron beam soil-treatment and neutron tomography. Scientific Reports 2018 (2018), p. 2136/1-14
Open Accesn Version

Various medicinal plants are threatened with extinction owing to their over-exploitation and the prevalence of soil borne pathogens. In this study, soils infected with root-rot pathogens, which prevent continuous-cropping, were treated with an electron beam. The level of soil-borne fungus was reduced to ≤0.01% by soil electron beam treatment without appreciable effects on the levels of antagonistic microorganism or on the physicochemical properties of the soil. The survival rate of 4-year-old plant was higher in electron beam-treated soil (81.0%) than in fumigated (62.5%), virgin (78%), or untreatedreplanting soil (0%). Additionally, under various soils conditions, neutron tomography permitted the monitoring of plant health and the detection of root pathological changes over a period of 4–6 years by quantitatively measuring root water content in situ. These methods allow continual cropping on the same soil without pesticide treatment. This is a major step toward the environmentally friendly production of endangered therapeutic herbs.