Root-knot nematodes cause substantial economic loss of yield in coffee plantations and vegetable crops in Cuba. At present, methods to control the nematodes are ineffective or inappropriate and alternatives are being sought. The nematophagous fungus Verticillium chlamydosporium (Goddard) was isolated from soils collected from coffee plantations and infected root-knot nematode eggs from roots of tomato plants grown in these soils. A total of 83 isolates were collected and identified morphologically as V. chlamydosporium var. chlamydosporium, V. chlamydosporium var. catenulatum, V. psalliotae, V. suchlasporium and an isolate of V. chlamydosporium var. chlamydosporium with unusually large dictyochlamydospores. From these, 24 that represented a range of origins were selected and screened for their ability to parasitize eggs of root-knot nematodes, colonize the rhizosphere of barley roots and produce chlamydospores. None of the isolates grew at temperatures below 15°C and V. suchlasporium grew at a faster rate at lower temperatures than the other isolates. These were also screened in the glasshouse and V. chlamydosporium var. catenulatum caused the greatest reduction in nematode populations. One isolate of each subspecies of V. chlamydosporium was tested with the standard, Rothamsted isolate 10, on a range of host plants. The greatest reduction in numbers of nematodes occurred on tomato plants (cv. Pixie). The Rothamsted isolate 10 reduced numbers of nematodes toa greater extent than the other isolates, and therefore has the greatest potential as a biological control agent of root-knot nematodes.
Hidalgo-Diaz, L.; Bourne, J.M.; Kerry, B.R.; Rodriguez, M.G. Nematophagous Verticilliums pp. in soils infested with Meloidogyne spp. in Cuba: Isolation and screening. International Journal of Pest Management (2000) 46 (4) 277-284. [DOI: 10.1080/09670870050206046]