Detection and Description of Soils with Specific Nematode Suppressiveness

Andreas Westphal


Soils with specific suppressiveness to plant-parasitic nematodes are of interest to define the mechanisms that regulate population density. Suppressive soils prevent nematodes from establishing and from causing disease, and they diminish disease severity after initial nematode damage in continuous culturing of a host. A range of non-specific and specific soil treatments, followed by infestation with a target nematode, have been employed to identify nematode-suppressive soils. Biocidal treatments, soil transfer tests, and baiting approaches together with observations of the plant-parasitic nematode in the root zone of susceptible host plants have improved the understanding of nematode-suppressive soils. Techniques to demonstrate specific soil suppressiveness against plant-parasitic nematodes are compared in this review. The overlap of studies on soil suppressiveness with recent advances in soil health and quality is briefly discussed. The emphasis is on methods (or criteria) used to detect and identify soils that maintain specific soil suppressiveness to plant-parasitic nematodes. While biocidal treatments can detect general and specific soil suppressiveness, soil transfer studies, by definition, apply only to specific soil suppressiveness. Finally, potential strategies to exploit suppressive soils are presented.


biological control; cyst nematodes; cyst nematode-suppressive soil; density dependence; heat treatments; heteordera avenae; h. glycines; h. schachtii

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