Killing and Preserving Nematodes in Soil Samples with Chemicals and Microwave Energy


  • K. R. Barker
  • G. V. Gooding, Jr.
  • A. S. Elder
  • R. E. Eplee


Three basic procedures for treating nematode-bearing soil samples for international shipment or from areas under quarantine were tested for their killing effect and recovery of nematodes by sugar flotation for diagnostic and advisory purposes. These were: fumigation with methyl bromide followed by storage at -15 C; microwave treatment (2450 MHz, 630 w, 2-5 min) followed by addition of FAA + picric acid or 5% Formalin; and adding chemical preservatives (FAA + picric acid, 5% Formalin, NAN[sub3], and 2-phenoxyethanol) directly to the soil. larvae of Heterodera glycines in eggs within cysts were stimulated to hatch by 2-rain exposure to microwaves, and an exposure of 5 rain was required to kill them. Soil type and moisture significantly affected microwave effectiveness. Direct saturation of soil samples with preservative chemical solutions (FAA + picric acid or 5% Formalin) was most effective, and often increased the number of nematodes recovered. The high concentration (2%) of NaN[sub3] a required for soil sterilization is too hazardous for routine work. NaN[sub3], therefore, is not recommended for this purpose. Key words: extraction methods, quarantines, 11eterodera glycines, Meloidogyne incognita, Helicotylenchus dihystera, Tylenchorhynchus claytonL Xiphinema americanum.