Rhizosphere Colonization and Control of Meloidogyne spp. by Nematode-trapping Fungi
AbstractThe ability of nematode-trapping fungi to colonize the rhizosphere of crop plants has been suggested to be an important factor in biological control of root-infecting nematodes. In this study, rhizosphere colonization was evaluated for 38 isolates of nematode-trapping fungi representing 11 species. In an initial screen, Arthrobotrys dactyloides, A. superba, and Monacrosporium ellipsosporum were most frequently detected in the tomato rhizosphere. In subsequent pot experiments these fungi and the non-root colonizing M. geophyropagum were introduced to soil in a sodium alginate matrix, and further tested both for establishment in the tomato rhizosphere and suppression of root-knot nematodes. The knob-forming M. ellipsosporum showed a high capacity to colonize the rhizosphere both in the initial screen and the pot experiments, with more than twice as many fungal propagules in the rhizosphere as in the root-free soil. However, neither this fungus nor the other nematode-trapping fungi tested reduced nematode damage to tomato plants.
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