The importance of tropical root-knot nematodes (Meloidogyne spp.) and factors affecting the utility of Pasteuria penetrans as a biocontrol agent

Trudgill, D.L.; Bala, G.; Blok, V.C.; Daudi, A.; Davies, K.G.; Gowen, S.R.; Fargette, M.; Madulu, J.D.; Mateille, T.; Mwageni, W.; Netscher, C.; Phillips, M.S.; Abdoussalam Sawadogo; Trivino, C.G.; Voyoukallou, E.

Nematology 2(8): 823-845


ISSN/ISBN: 1388-5545
DOI: 10.1163/156854100750112789
Accession: 003588991

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The conclusions of a collaborative study of the occurrence and importance of root-knot nematodes (RKN, Meloidogyne spp.) and of their control agent, Pasteuria penetrans, in parts of Europe, Africa, South America and the Caribbean are presented. Root-knot nematodes were estimated to reduce the yields of a wide range of horticultural crops by 5% for every increase of one in the gall index. Yields were increased by alternating tomato with leguminous crops in some trials, but not in others. It is proposed that, in natural infections, mutual selection produces a dynamic balance between the P. penetrans and the RKN whereby levels of infection are rarely suppressive. However, the introduction of an "exotic" isolate of P. penetrans, with a different attachment profile, can disturb this balance, resulting in a greatly increased proportion of infected J2 and females, increased yields of spores and more suppression of RKN populations.