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Mycorrhizal Fungi against Potato Cyst Nematodes: Understanding the Interaction and Potential for Integrated Pest Management

Study to investigate the interaction between arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and potato cyst nematodes, with the goal of improving management of the nematode Globodera pallida.

Year of Publication2008

The inadequate control of the potato cyst nematode (PCN) Globodera pallida (relative to the other PCN species, G. rostochiensis) by short persistence granular nematicides has been associated with the later hatching of G. pallida juveniles, compared to that of G. rostochiensis. Our project aimed to investigate the interaction between arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and PCN, with the goal of improving management of G. pallida. In laboratory bioassays and pot trials, inoculation of potato roots with Vaminoc, a commercial AMF multi-species mixture, or with the single AMF species G. intraradices or G. mosseae, had a significant stimulatory effect on the early hatch of G. pallida but not G. rostochiensis, eliminating the difference in hatching date between the two species. This effect, which was cultivar non-specific, was demonstrated by molecular exclusion liquid chromatography to be the consequence of increases in the amounts of G. pallida-selective hatching factors (host-specific semiochemicals present in potato root leachate, PRL) in the mycorrhizal PRL profile. Mycorrhization also increased crop tolerance to G. rostochiensis and compensated for 75% of yield loss sustained by the non-AMF G. pallida-infested plants. Acceleration of the early G. pallida hatch in the field in response to AMF inoculation of potato tubers enhanced the efficacy of the nematicide aldicarb by significantly reducing nematode invasion and multiplication in roots by almost 40% as compared to non-AMF plants. Despite the increased amount of phosphate in the agricultural soils, high levels of AMF colonisation were detected, suggesting that PCN control by AMF inoculation can be feasible for field-grown potatoes. This research has undoubtedly contributed to a better understanding of the complex interrelationships between potato plants, PCN and AMF. More importantly, it has opened up novel avenues in PCN management by applying AMF as part of an integrated PCN management strategy.

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Additional keywords/tags

potato pestsnematodesbiological control
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Supporting the development of the national rural economy.

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