Development, Distribution, and Host Studies of the Fungus Macrobiotophthoira vermicola (Entomophthorales)


  • Ernest C. Bernard
  • Teresa L. Arroyo


The life cycle and host range of Macrobiotophthora vermicola were studied. Secondary spores produced from forcibly ejected primary spores adhered to the cuticle of Cruznema tripartitum, germinated, and penetrated the cuticle within 30 minutes. New primary spores were produced within 24 hours of initial spore adhesion. In a host range study, species of Rhabditidae, Diplogasteridae, and Aphelenchoidea were hosts, but not species of Bunonematidae, Tripylidae, Cephalobida, or Tylenchina. Numbers of second-stage Meloidogyne incognita juveniles were not decreased when added to soil seeded with infected C. tripartitum. In six Tennessee soybean fields, Macrobiotophthora vermicola was the most commonly encountered nematode-destroying fungus, followed by a sterile, nonseptate fungus and Arthrobotrys conoides. Nematophagous fungi were isolated more frequently from silt loam soils than from clay soils. Addition of C. tripartitum to soil extract plates as a bait nematode did not increase isolations of nematophagous fungi. Key words: biological control, Entomophthorales, host range, Macrobiotophthora vermicola, nematophagous fungus.