Hirsutella rhossiliensisand Verticillium chlamydosporium as Biocontrol Agents of the Root-knot Nematode Meloidogyne haplaon Lettuce


  • Nicole M. Vianene
  • George S. Abawi


biological control, hirsutella rhossiliensis, lactuca sativa, lettuce, meloidogyne hapla, nematode, northern root-knot nematode, organic soil, verticillium chlamydosporium


Hirsutella rhossiliensis and Verticillium chlamydosporium infected second-stage juveniles (J2) and eggs of Meloidogyne hapla, respectively, in petri dishes and in organic soil in pots planted to lettuce in the greenhouse. In vitro, H. rhossiliensis produced 78 to 124 spores/infected J2 of M. hapla. The number of J2 in roots of lettuce seedlings decreased exponentially with increasing numbers of vegetative colonies of H. rhossiliensis in the soil. At an infestation of 8 M. hapla eggs/cm³ soil, 1.9 colonies of H. rhossiliensis/cm³ soil were needed for a 50% decrease in J2 penetration of lettuce roots. Egg-mass colonization with V. chlamydosporium varied from 16% to 43% when soil was infested with 8 M. hapla eggs and treated with 5,000 or 10,000 chlamydospores of V. chlamydosporium/cm³ soil. This treatment resulted in fewer J2 entering roots of bioassay lettuce seedlings planted in the infested soils after harvesting the first lettuce plants 7 weeks after infestation with M. hapla. Hirsutella rhossiliensis (0 to 4.3 colonies/cm3 soil), V. chlamydosporium (500 to 10,000 chlamydospores/cm3 soil), or their combination, added to organic soils with 8 M. hapla eggs/cm³ soil, generally did not affect lettuce weight, root galling, or egg production of M. hapla. However, when lettuce was replanted in a mix of infested and uninfested soil (1:3 and 1:7, v:v), egg production was lower in soils with V. chlamydosporium than in soils without the fungus. Both fungi have potential to reduce the M. hapla population, but at densities below 8 eggs/cm³ soil.