Submitted to: Nematropica
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: April 16, 2000
Publication Date: December 8, 2000
Citation: Timper, P. 2000. Biological control of nematodes using introduced antagonists [abstract]. Nematropica. 30:152. Technical Abstract: Root-knot and cyst nematodes have been the primary targets for biological control because of their importance as crop pests, and their vulnerability to fungal and bacterial antagonists. A wide variety of fungi and a few bacteria have been shown to parasitize or otherwise antagonize one or more life stages of these nematodes. The typical approach to biological control lof nematodes is to isolate a potential antagonist, determine its effectiveness in suppressing nematode populations in sterilized soil or native soil in the greenhouse, and then proceed with small plot experiments in the field. For the most part, we have failed to achieve the level of nematode suppression in field trials that we have observed in greenhouse trials. This has led many nematologists to conclude that biological control is not a viable management option for nematodes. However, there are several well documented cases of nematode suppression by naturally-occuring gantagonists which suggests that in some cropping systems, antagonists can regulate nematode populations. Our expectations for an introduced antagonist may be too high (i.e., rapid and substantial suppression of the nematode population). Perhaps greater emphasis should be placed on long- term persistence of an antagonist or an antagonistic community that results in a moderate, but sustained level of nematode suppression.