University of California

Nitrogen trichloride and other gases as fungicides


L. J. Klotz

Author Affiliations

L. J. Klotz was Associate Plant Pathologist in the Citrus Experiment Station.

Publication Information

Hilgardia 10(2):27-52. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v10n02p027. January 1936.

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Obvious advantages are to be had in the use of a suitable gas for the control of fungi and insect pests on fruits in storage rooms and in cars during shipment. Application would be relatively simple and inexpensive; the material, because of its fluidity and diffusibility would, if aided by agitators, penetrate quickly to all exposed surfaces; and at the termination of the treatment, the gas could be readily eliminated by forced ventilation. Where tight refrigerator cars are used, it is possible that the fruit might remain in a low but effective concentration of the protective gas during shipment, assuring minimum losses from decay.

Nitrogen trichloride, the gas with which this report is chiefly concerned, is used extensively in the treatment of freshly milled flour in order to mature it quickly and induce desirable baking qualities. The suggestion that the gas might be used for the control of citrus pests was made several years ago when the Field Department Laboratory of the California Fruit Growers’ Exchange and the Wallace and Tiernan Products Company began a series of coöperative experiments. At that time tests were made to determine whether or not the gas would decrease losses from the most serious organisms of decay in citrus fruits, namely, blue and green molds, or Penicillium italicum and P. digitatum.

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Klotz L. 1936. Nitrogen trichloride and other gases as fungicides. Hilgardia 10(2):27-52. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v10n02p027
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