Submitted to: Plant Disease
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/3/2007
Publication Date: 1/1/2008
Citation: Zasada, I.A., Avendano, F., Li, Y.C., Logan, T., Malakeberhan, H., Koenning, S.R., Tylka, G. 2008. Potential of an Alkaline-stabilized Biosolid to Manage Nematodes: Case Studies on Soybean Cyst and Root-knot Nematodes. Plant Disease. 92(1):04-13.
Interpretive Summary: Plant-parasitic nematodes are microscopic worms that attack plants and cause ten billion dollars in crop losses annually in the United States. Farmers face an enormous problem because they lack safe and effective ways of reducing the numbers of nematodes in soils. In search of an alternative nematode management solution, a multi-state, multi-year project was conducted by ARS and other researchers to evaluate a biosolid product. This product, called N-Viro Soil, is formed from municipal sewage treatment wastes that have been freed of human disease organisms through a sanitization and stabilization process. Results were variable from location to location, but in general high rates of N-Viro Soil were required to kill plant-parasitic nematodes. It was also determined that N-Viro Soil killed nematodes through a combination of elevating soil pH which resulted in the production of ammonia. These results are significant because they provide the first broad-spectrum evaluation of the use of N-Viro Soil to manage plant-parasitic nematodes in many different environments. This research will be used by scientists developing safe and effective ways of controlling the diseases caused by plant-parasitic nematodes.
Technical Abstract: In 2001 a collaborative research effort was initiated to evaluate an alkaline stabilized biosolid amendment for plant-parasitic nematode management. This biosolid amendment, N-Viro Soil (NVS), is produced from a unique process that destroys pathogens through a combination of the following stresses: alkaline pH, accelerated drying, high temperature, high ammonia (NH3), salts, and indigenous microflora. N-Viro Soil was evaluated in field, microplot, greenhouse and laboratory experiments against Meliodogyne spp. and Heterodera glycines in five states. Results were variable from location to location, but in general high rates of NVS (> 50 dry t/ha) were required for plant-parasitic nematode suppression. It was also determined that the mechanism of nematode suppression by NVS is elevated pH in combination with the production of NH3. Five years of research have lead to the conclusion that for NVS to be applied for consistent, reliable and environmentally friendly plant-parasitic nematode management, the amendment will have to be implemented in a site-specific manner with a deeper understanding of the mechanism(s) responsible for nematode suppression.