The nematophagous fungus, Verticillium chlamydosporium, has considerable potential as a biological control agent for root-knot nematodes on a range of crops. The fungus is a general facultative parasite that attacks the eggs of several nematode species. The biology of the fungus is reviewed and the need for a detailed understanding of its ecology for its rational use as a biological control agent is highlighted. Isolates of the fungus must colonize the rhizosphere to be effective control agents. Plants differ in their ability to support the fungus and greatest control is achieved on those cultivars that support abundant growth of the fungus but produce only limited galling in response to nematode attack. On such plants, most eggs produced by nematodes are exposed to parasitism by this nematophagous fungus in the rhizosphere. Key words: biological control, nematophagous fungi, root-knot nematodes, Verticillium chlamydosporium.
Canadian Journal of Botany (1995) 73 (S1) 65-70 [DOI: 10.1139/b95-226]