Effect of management of organic wastes on inactivation of Brassica nigra and Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. lactucae using soil biosolarization

Jesus Dionisio Fernández-Bayo, Tara E. Randall, Duff R. Harrold, Yigal Achmon, Kelley V. Hestmark, Joey Su, Ruth M. Dahlquist-Willard, Thomas R. Gordon, James J. Stapleton, Jean S. VanderGheynst, Christopher W. Simmons*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Soil biosolarization is a promising alternative to conventional fumigation. Volatile fatty acids (VFAs) produced in the soil through fermentation of amended organic matter can affect pest inactivation during biosolarization. The objective was to determine how soil amended with organic wastes that were partially stabilized through either composting or anaerobic digestion affected the inactivation of Brassica nigra (BN; a weed) and Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. lactucae (FOL; a phytopathogenic fungus). RESULTS: The mortality of BN seeds in the biosolarized soil was 12% higher than in the solarized soil, although this difference was not significant. However, a significant correlation between BN mortality and VFA accumulation was observed. The number of FOL colony-forming units (CFU) in solarized samples at 5 cm was 34 CFU g–1 of soil, whereas in the biosolarized samples levels were below the limit of quantification. At 15 cm, these levels were 100 CFU g–1 for solarized samples and < 50 CFU g–1 of soil for the biosolarized samples. Amendment addition positively affected the organic matter and potassium content after the solarization process. CONCLUSION: The organic waste stabilization method can impact downstream biosolarization performance and final pest inactivation levels. This study suggests that organic waste management practices can be leveraged to improve pest control and soil quality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1892-1902
Number of pages11
JournalPest Management Science
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • compost
  • digestates
  • pest control
  • soil quality
  • solarization
  • volatile fatty acids


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