Plant Growth in Irradiated Soil


ONE of the difficulties in any investigation of the action of micro-organisms on plants growing in soil is that sterilization of the soil by heat or by chemical means prior to planting causes complex physical and chemical changes, some of which are phytotoxic1. The reports that urease activity continued in soil sterilized by an electron beam2 and that γ-irradiation of humus resulted in little physical and chemical change3 indicated that irradiation sterilization may overcome the disadvantages of soil sterilized by more conventional methods. The present report is concerned with a comparison of growth of subterranean clover (Trifolium subterraneum L.) in two soils (Urrbrae red-brown earth and Mount Compass podzolized sand) sterilized by heat, by propylene oxide and by irradiation.

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  1. 1

    Warcup, J. H., Soils and Fert., 20, 1 (1957).

  2. 2

    McLaren, A. D., Resketko, Lola, and Huber, W., Soil Sci., 83, 497 (1957).

  3. 3

    Groenewound, van H., Proc. Canad. Phytopath. Soc., 26, 12 (1959).

  4. 4

    Rovira, A. D., Plant and Soil, 11, 53 (1959).

  5. 5

    Grossbard, Erna, Minson, D. J., and Raymond, W. F., Exps. in Progress, 11 (Grasslands Res. Inst., Ann. Rep., 1957-58, 80, 1959).

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BOWEN, G., ROVIRA, A. Plant Growth in Irradiated Soil. Nature 191, 936–937 (1961).

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