Submitted to: Mycological Society of America
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: July 29, 2000
Publication Date: N/A
Deregistration of many chemical nematicides and restrictions in use of some remaining compounds have led to heightened study of biocontrol agents as an alternative to use of conventional pesticides. Many microorganisms in field soils are antagonistic to nematodes, and can even have suppressive effects on nematode populations. Because of the complexity of the soil ecosystem, it is difficult to emulate this suppression with application of biocontrol fungi. Fungi that show activity against nematode populations in the laboratory and greenhouse often demonstrate inconsistent performance in the field, and finding ways to enhance efficacy of biocontrol fungi has been a major obstacle to development of successful products. Indeed, few biocontrol products have been marketed for management of plant-parasitic nematodes. Application of useful organisms can be expedited by collaborations that allow for extensive testing and for basic research on fungus biology. For biocontrol to be successful, anticipated profits should be in line with the results that can reasonably be obtained from biocontrol products, and biocontrol must be implemented with a range of management practices, which may include conventional chemicals, application of active compounds produced by nematode antagonists, transgenic plants, resistance, and cultural practices.