Comparative Efficiency of the Fenwick Can and Schuiling Centrifuge in Extracting Nematode Cysts from Different Soil Types

  • Joaquim Bellvert
  • Kieran Crombie
  • Finbarr G. Horgan
Keywords: Fenwick can, potato cyst nematode, Globodera rostochiensis, Schuiling centrifuge, soil monitoring, method, statutory testing


The Fenwick can and Schuiling centrifuge are widely used to extract nematode cysts from soil samples. The comparative efficiencies of these two methods during cyst extraction have not been determined for different soil types under different cyst densities. Such information is vital for statutory laboratories that must choose a method for routine, high-throughput soil monitoring. In this study, samples of different soil types seeded with varying densities of potato cyst nematode (Globodera rostochiensis) cysts were processed using both methods. In one experiment, with 200 ml samples, recovery was similar between methods. In a second experiment with 500 ml samples, cyst recovery was higher using the Schuiling centrifuge. For each method and soil type, cyst extraction efficiency was similar across all densities tested. Extraction was efficient from pure sand (Fenwick 72%, Schuiling 84%) and naturally sandy soils (Fenwick 62%, Schuiling 73%), but was significantly less efficient from clay-soil (Fenwick 42%, Schuiling 44%) and peat-soil with high organic matter content (Fenwick 35%, Schuiling 33%). Residual moisture (<10% w/w) in samples prior to analyses reduced extraction efficiency, particularly for sand and sandy soils. For each soil type and method, there were significant linear relationships between the number of cysts extracted and the numbers of cysts in the samples. We discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each extraction method for cyst extraction in statutory soil laboratories.