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Studies On Soil Fumigation—II: Effects On Bacteria
Published 1976 · Biology
Abstract In a South Australian wheat-field soil the viable counts of “total” aerobic bacteria and of fluorescent pseudomonads were initially greatly depressed by fumigation with 220 kg·ha−1 chloropicrin (CP) or with a combined application of 220 kg·ha−1 of chloropicrin and 220 kg·ha−1 methyl bromide (F). Bacterial numbers rose sharply within 10 days of the completion of fumigation. For a further 14 days the fluorescent pseudomonads formed the major part of the aerobic bacterial population counted and over 5 months later their numbers in F-treated soil remained about 10 times higher than in untreated soil. Numbers of aerobic spore-formers rose more slowly after CP or F treatment. but then remained significantly higher over the 159 days of the trial. Fumigation with 220 kg·ha−1 of methyl bromide alone (MB) had little effect on soil bacterial numbers. A check of random isolates revealed a predominance of Gram-negative organisms in soil treated with CP, this dominance decreasing with time, whereas MB treatment did not result in any detectable change. Fluorescent pseudomonads from rhizospheres of wheat plants in soil fumigated with CP contained smaller proportions of strains antagonistic in vitro to Gaeumannomyces graminis var. tritici than isolates from MB-treated soil or from untreated soil.