Root-knot Nematode Problem of Some Winter Ornamental Plants and Its Biomanagement


  • Mujeebur Rahman Khan
  • Shahana M. Khan
  • Faya Mohide


bacillus subtilis, biocontrol, hollyhock, meloidogyne incognita, petunia, pochonia chlamydosporia, poppy, pseudomonas fluorescens, rhizosphere population


A microplot study under field conditions was carried out during 2 consecutive years to assess the effect of root-knot nematode infection (2,000 Meloidogyne incognita eggs/kg soil) on three winter ornamental plants: hollyhock (Althea rosea), petunia (Petunia hybrida), and poppy (Papaver rhoeas). Effects of root-dip treatment with the biocontrol agents Pochonia chlamydosporia, Bacillus subtilis, and Pseudomonas fluorescens and the nematicide fenamiphos were tested. The three ornamental species were highly susceptible to M. incognita, developing 397 and 285 (hollyhock), 191 and 149 (petunia), and 155 and 131 (poppy) galls and egg masses per root system, respectively, and exhibited 37% (petunia), 29% (poppy), and 23% (hollyhock) (P = 0.05) decrease in the flower production. Application of fenamiphos, P. chlamydosporia, P. fluorescens, and B. subtilis suppressed nematode pathogenesis (galls + egg masses) by 64%, 37%, 27%, and 24%, respectively, leading to 14% to 29%, 7% to 15%, 14% to 36%, and 7% to 33% increase in the flower production of the ornamental plants, respectively. Treatment with P. fluorescens also increased the flowering of uninfected plants by 11% to 19%. Soil population of M. incognita was decreased (P = 0.05) due to various treatments from 2 months onward, being greatest with fenamiphos, followed by P. chlamydosporia, B. subtilis, and P. fluorescens. Frequency of colonization of eggs, egg masses, and females by the bioagents was greatest by P. chlamydosporia, i.e., 25% to 29%, 47% to 60%, and 36% to 41%, respectively. Colonization of egg masses by B. subtilis and P. fluorescens was 28% to 31% and 11% to 13%, respectively, but the frequency was 0.3% to 1.3% in eggs. Rhizosphere population of the bioagents was increased (P = 0.05) over time, being usually greater in the presence of nematode.