Mortality of <I>Pratylenchus penetrans</I> by Volatile Fatty Acids from Liquid Hog Manure

  • A. Mahran
  • M. Tenuta
  • M. L. Hanson
  • F. Daayf
Keywords: bioassay, Caenorhabditis elegans, LHM, liquid hog manure, LSM, liquid swine manure, management, nematode, potato, Pratylenchus penetrans, root-lesion nematode, VFA, volatile fatty acids


As part of our research program assessing the use of liquid hog manure (LHM) to control root-lesion nematodes, Pratylenchus penetrans, a series of acute toxicity tests was conducted to: (i) examine if non-ionized forms of volatile fatty acids (VFA) are responsible for the mortality of P. penetrans exposed to LHM under acidic conditions, (ii) determine if Caenorhabditis elegans can be a surrogate for P. penetrans in screening tests by comparing their sensitivities to VFA, (iii) characterize the nematicidal effect of individual VFA in LHM to P. penetrans, and (iv) determine whether individual VFA in LHM interact in their toxicity to P. penetrans. LHM was significantly (P ≤ 0.05) more toxic to P. penetrans than a mixture of its main VFA components at concentrations of 5% and 10% (vol. VFA or LHM /vol. in buffer). Pratylenchus penetrans was more sensitive to acetic acid than C. elegans, whereas the sensitivity of both nematode species to n-caproic acid was similar. Individual VFA vary in their lethality to P. penetrans. n-valeric acid was the most toxic (LC95= 6.8 mM), while isobutyric acid was the least toxic (LC95 = 45.7 mM). Individual VFA did not interact in their toxicity to P. penetrans, and their effects were considered additive. VFA account for the majority of the lethal effect of LHM to P. penetrans under acidic conditions. Caenorhabditis elegans cannot be used as a surrogate to P. penetrans in toxicity studies using VFA. The efficacy of LHM to control P. penetrans can be evaluated by assessing its VFA content prior to application, and this evaluation is facilitated by the fact that the interaction of individual VFA appears to be simply additive.