Evaluation of Dry Ice as a Potential Cryonematicide for Meloidogyne incognita in Soil


  • William P. Wergin
  • Robert W. Yaklich
  • David J. Chitwood
  • Eric F. Erbe


carbon dioxide, control, cryogen, cryonematicide, dry ice, lycopersicon esculentum, meloidogyne incognita, nematicide, nematode, population dynamics, root-knot nematode, temperature, winter survival


Solid CO[sub2] (dry ice) was added to pots containing soil that was infested either with eggs of the root-knot nematode, Meloidogyne incognita, or with tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum 'Rutgers') root fragments that were infected with various stages of the nematode. Two hours after dry ice was added, thermocouples in the soil recorded temperatures ranging from -15 ºC to -59 ºC. One day after treatment with the dry ice, the temperature of the soil was allowed to equilibrate with that of the greenhouse, and susceptible tomato seedlings were planted in pots containing infested soil treated or untreated (controls) with dry ice. After 5 weeks, roots were removed from the pots and nematode eggs were extracted and counted. Plants grown in soil infested with eggs and receiving dry ice treatment had less than 1% of the eggs found in the controls; plants from soil infested with root fragments and receiving dry ice treatment had less than 4% of the eggs found in controls. Dry ice used to lower soil temperature may have potential as a cryonematicide.