In-vitro Assays of Meloidogyne incognita and Heterodera glycines for Detection of Nematode-antagonistic Fungal Compounds

  • James K. Nitao
  • Susan L. F. Meyer
  • David J. Chitwood
Keywords: bioassay technique, biological control, culture broth, egg hatch, fungus, fusarium equiseti, heterodera glycines, in-vitro assay, meloidogyne incognita, microbial secondary metabolites, nematicide, nematode


In-vitro methods were developed to test fungi for production of metabolites affecting nematode egg hatch and mobility of second-stage juveniles. Separate assays were developed for two nematodes: root-knot nematode (Meloidogyne incognita) and soybean cyst nematode (Heterodera glycines). For egg hatch to be successfully assayed, eggs must first be surface-disinfested to avoid the confounding effects of incidental microbial growth facilitated by the fungal culture medium. Sodium hypochlorite was more effective than chlorhexidine diacetate or formaldehyde solutions at surface-disinfesting soybean cyst nematode eggs from greenhouse cultures. Subsequent rinsing with sodium thiosulfate to remove residual chlorine from disinfested eggs did not improve either soybean cyst nematode hatch or juvenile mobility. Soybean cyst nematode hatch in all culture media was lower than in water. Sodium hypochlorite was also used to surface-disinfest root-knot nematode eggs. In contrast to soybean cyst nematode hatch, root-knot nematode hatch was higher in potato dextrose broth medium than in water. Broth of the fungus Fusarium equiseti inhibited root-knot nematode egg hatch and was investigated in more detail. Broth extract and its chemical fractions not only inhibited egg hatch but also immobilized second-stage juveniles that did hatch, confirming that the fungus secretes nematode-antagonistic metabolites.