Parasitism of Helicotylenchus lobus by Pasteuria penetrans in Naturally Infested Soil


  • A. Ciancio
  • R. Mankau
  • M. Mundo-Ocampo


The population density of Helicotylenchus lobus and the percentage of the population with spores of Pasteuria penetrans were determined for 10 monthly intervals in naturally infested turf grass soil at Riverside, California. The percentage of nematodes with attached spores ranged from 40% to 67%. No relationship was found between nematode density and the percentage of nematodes with spores. The mean and maximum numbers of spores adhering per nematode with at least one spore ranged from 2 to 8 and 7 to 66, respectively. The mean number of spores per nematode (based on total number of H. lotrus) was correlated with the percentage of nematodes with spores. Spores adhered to both adult and juvenile H. lobus. Between 9% and 32% of the nematodes with spores had been penetrated and infected by the bacterium. Many infected nematodes were dead, but mature spores were also observed within living adult and juvenile H. lobus that exhibited no apparent reduction in viability and motility. Spore and central endospore diameters of this P. penetrans isolate were larger than those reported for the type isolate from Meloidogyne incognita, but transmission and scanning electron microscopy did not reveal significant morphological differences between the two isolates. Spores of the isolate associated with H. lobus did not adhere to juveniles of M. incognita. Key words: biocontrol, Helicotylenchus lobus, host specificity, infection, nematode, parasitism, Pasteuria penetrans, population density, ultrastructure.