Low temperature short duration steaming of agricultural soil kills soil-borne disease, nematode pests and weeds.

Michael John Wilson, Christopher Mullins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Citations (Scopus)


Agricultural soil samples containing survival structures of the fungal crop pathogens Verticillium dahliae, Sclerotinia sclerotiorum, Sclerotium cepivorum, Pythium ultimum, potato cyst nematodes Globodera rostochiensis and G. pallida and weeds Chenopodium album and Agropyron repens [Elymus repens] were treated in the laboratory with aerated steam at temperatures ranging from 40 to 80degreesC in a specially constructed apparatus. Steaming at 50 or 60degreesC for 3 min, followed by an 8-min resting period in the steamed soil and immediate removal from the soil thereafter, resulted in 100% kill of all weeds, diseases and nematodes. When steamed at 45degreesC, there was a small but significant reduction in the survival of V. dahliae microsclerotia but no reduction in survival of S. cepivorum.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)993-1002
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Plant Pathology
Publication statusPublished - 2003


  • aerated steam
  • methyl bromide
  • potato cyst nematodes
  • soil-borne diseases
  • soil disinfestation
  • weeds

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