Poster Presentation Science Protecting Plant Health 2017

Assessing the biocontrol efficacy of nematode trapping fungi Arthrobotrys oligospora and A. dactyloides against root-knot nematodes in ginger (#356)

PUS Peiris 1 , KM Groves 1 , CY Xu 1 , YJ Li 1 , Philip Brown 1
  1. Central Queensland University, BUNDABERG, QLD, Australia

Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is an important crop to Australia with an average annual production of 8000 tonnes. Root-knot nematode is one of the serious soil-borne pathogens in ginger cultivations causing noticeable yield damages. Though most growers rely on chemical control for root-knot nematodes, chemical application is no longer recommended by regulatory authorities. Hence, interest in eco-friendly control measures has been a new avenue for many researchers. Fungal biocontrol is a rapidly developing research area, and there is an evolving interest in the exploration of fungi for controlling root-knot nematodes. In this study, two nematode trapping fungi, Arthrobotrys dactyloides and A. oligospora encapsulated in kaolin-alginate granules were individually assessd for their efficacy in controlling root-knot nematode damage in Ginger. Significantly less root-knot nematodes were recovered from both Arthrobotrys dactyloides and A. oligospora incorporated soils than from control, which indicated that both fungi have biocontrol potential to suppress root-knot nematodes in both heated and un-heated soil. Compared to control treatments, granule application of both fungi in both soils, reduced nematode damage in terms of galling and presence of lesions. There was no significant difference between fungi and chemical treatment for both damage reduction and soil root-knot nematode reduction. The new rhizome yields were not significantly different among all treatments. Other vegetative parameters including above-ground plant height and fresh weight were also not significantly different among treatments. Significantly lower root-knot nematode numbers and root galls as well as significantly higher yield were observed in un-heated soil compared to heated soil. This may be due to the presence of other natural predators of root-knot nematodes such as predatory nematodes and nematode feeding soil micro-organisms. The yield difference could be explained by the healthier plant performance in the un-disturbed soil food web and the lower root-knot nematode damage.