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Accelerated Degradation of Metam-Sodium in Soil and Consequences for Root-Disease Management

April 2009 , Volume 99 , Number  4
Pages  362 - 368

Shachaf Triky-Dotan, Miriam Austerweil, Bracha Steiner, Yitzhak Peretz-Alon, Jaacov Katan, and Abraham Gamliel

First, second, third, and sixth authors: Laboratory for Pest Management Research, Institute of Agricultural Engineering, ARO, The Volcani Center, P.O. Box 6, Bet Dagan 50250, Israel; Fourth author: Agricultural Committee, Maon Region Enterprises, Israel; and first and fifth authors: Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Faculty of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Quality Sciences, Rehovot 76100, Israel.

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Accepted for publication 4 December 2008.

We studied the development of accelerated degradation (AD) of methyl isothiocyanate (MITC) following repeated applications of its parent compound, metam-sodium (MS). Laboratory studies and four sets of field experiments were conducted during 2002--04 in three commercial fields in Israel. Repeated applications of MS to the three soils in the laboratory under controlled conditions demonstrated AD of MITC in some soils. In a peanut field, MS significantly reduced the incidence of Pythium pod rot and improved pod quality after a single application but its effectiveness was greatly reduced after two applications. In a second experiment, MS was significantly effective after a single application in controlling Verticillium wilt in potato but its efficacy diminished after three consecutive applications. In an additional experiment, fumigation with MS following single or double applications was more effective in reducing Verticillium wilt severity of potato compared with triple applications. Soils which did not develop AD of MITC were also recorded. Preplant MS fumigation of melon fields was effective at reducing sudden wilt following a single and two consecutive applications. Our study shows that development of AD of MITC might occur following repeated applications of MS in commercial fields. The data on MITC dissipation in soil following repeated MS applications under controlled conditions indicate the chemical's potential loss of activity under regular agricultural practices and the need for a management strategy to prevent such a development.

Additional keywords:Monosporascus cannonballus, Pythium spp., Verticillium dahliae.

© 2009 The American Phytopathological Society