Nature 149, 50-50 (10 January 1942) | doi:10.1038/149050a0

Trace-elements and 'Potato-sickness'



IT is well known that infestation with the potato strain of the eelworm Heterodera schachtii Schmidt is not the sole cause of the disease known as ‘potato-sickness’. It occurred to me that some nutritional deficiency might be a contributory factor. The disease nearly always occurs on land on which potatoes have been grown continuously for a number of years, and it seemed possible that this might well lead to the soil being exhausted of certain vital elements required by the plant in small quantities and normally neglected in manurial treatments and soil analyses. A small-scale attempt to test this hypothesis was made during 1941 and some promising results obtained. These, however, were of a preliminary nature and a more extensive investigation is planned for the future. A detailed account of this year’s work is now in preparation ; in the meantime it was thought advisable to publish the following note in the hope that it might be of use to other workers who may be interested in the problem.



  1. Arnon, D. I., Amer. J. Bot., 25, 322 (1938). | ChemPort |