Skip to main content
ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Corvallis, Oregon » Horticultural Crops Disease and Pest Management Research Unit » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #366106

Research Project: Development of Knowledge-based Approaches for Disease Management in Small Fruit and Nursery Crops

Location: Horticultural Crops Disease and Pest Management Research Unit

Title: Directed energy system technology for the control of soil borne fungal pathogens and plant-parasitic nematodes

item RIGA, E - Lisi Global, Inc
item CRISP, J - Lisi Global, Inc
item MCCOMB, G - Lisi Global, Inc
item Zasada, Inga
item Weiland, Gerald - Jerry

Submitted to: Pest Management Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/4/2020
Publication Date: 1/13/2020
Citation: Riga, E., Crisp, J.D., McComb, G.J., Zasada, I.A., Weiland, G.E. 2020. Directed energy system technology for the control of soil borne fungal pathogens and plant-parasitic nematodes. Pest Management Science. 76(6):2072-2078.

Interpretive Summary: Disease-causing organisms found in soil, including microscopic worms (nematodes), fungi, and water molds, can have a negative impact on the establishment of high value crops such as small fruits and nursery crops. These organisms are commonly controlled by the injection of gases into the soil to kill them, a practice that is becoming more difficult to implement; alternative means to control disease-causing organisms in soil are needed. This research was conducted to evaluate a novel energy application system in soil to control nematodes, fungi, and water molds. Pulses of energy were delivered to soil containing the organisms and impact on the organisms was determined. The energy system killed all of the organisms, however, different amounts of energy were required to achieve this impact. In general, lower amounts of energy were required to kill nematodes compared to the energy required to kill fungi and water molds. These findings are significant because this is the first demonstration of the efficacy of a novel energy application system to soil for the control of disease-causing organisms. This research will be used by industry to further the development of this system.

Technical Abstract: It is challenging to manage soilborne pathogens and plant-parasitic nematodes using sustainable practices. Here, we evaluated a novel energy application system, Directed Energy System (DES). This system generates pulses of energy capable of impacting selected biological organisms. The oomycete, Phytophthora cinnamomi, the fungus, Verticillium dahliae, and the plant-parasitic nematodes Meloidogyne hapla and Globodera ellingtonae were added to soil, and then DES generated energy was applied to soil and impacts on target organisms were determined. DES applied at low, medium, and high dosages to P. cinnamomi and V. dahliae resulted in a significant reduction of propagules per g/soil of both pathogens in comparison to the untreated control. There was a significant reduction of M. hapla eggs/gram of host tomato root between the untreated control and the low, medium, and high DES generated dosages applied at planting or post planting. Additionally, reduced hatch from G. ellingtonae encysted eggs after treatment with high DES dosage was observed. The dosages ranged from 40 or 80 Volts mm-1 for nematodes to 200 Volts mm-1 for fungi. DES generated energy reduced survival of the soilborne pathogens, P. cinnamomi and V. dahlia, and the plant-parasitic nematodes, M. hapla and G. ellingtonae.