Factor(s) involved in soil suppressiveness to Thielaviopsis basicola when hairy vetch was used as a green manure were studied in a cotton production system. Soil suppressiveness was assessed in vitro at hairy vetch amendment levels of 0, 0.25, and 0.75% (wt/wt) by observing chlamydospores, using a nylon fabric technique. Chlamydospore germination in all soils was below 5%, and microscopic examination showed no germ tube lysis or visible propagule destruction. Viability (chlamydospore germination on T. basicola-carrot-etridiazol-nystatin [TB-CEN] medium) was reduced by 29% within 48 h after hairy vetch amendment. Viability also was reduced in atmospheres of amended soils, suggesting that the suppressiveness was due to a volatile factor. In a field study, chlamydospore viability in amended soils was reduced by 16%. T. basicola hyphal growth was more sensitive to ammonia than Rhizoctonia solani or Pythium ultimum, and chlamydospore mortality of T. basicola was 100% in petri dish atmospheres with 0.4 ppm of ammonia (50% lethal dose = 0.15 ppm). Soil atmospheric ammonia was 0.08 and 0.10 ppm for 0.25 and 0.75% amendment levels, respectively, both at 3 and 7 days after incorporation. In the field, 0.11 and 0.14 ppm of ammonia were detected in soil atmospheres 3 and 7 days after incorporation, respectively. The levels of ammonia detected were sufficient to account for the loss in T. basicola chlamydospore viability, indicating that ammonia is responsible for the suppressiveness observed.