Nature of a beet cyst nematode population suppression unraveled
Destruction of a nematode egg by Dactylella oviparasitica
What Has ANR Done?In one soil site at the UC Riverside Agricultural Experiment Station, the population of the beet cyst nematode (Heterodera schachtii) has been suppressed for more than a quarter of a century. The location has been the focus of a decade-long investigation into the nature and cause of the phenomenon. Cooperative research in the laboratories of Dr. J. Ole Becker (AES/CE) and Dr. James Borneman (AES) found that Dactylella oviparasitica was suppressing beet cyst nematodes. This fungal hyperparasite attacks developing juveniles, females and eggs of the nematodes, thereby diminishing their population development. Introduction of this fungus into other beet cyst nematode-infested soils caused similar population declines.
Model system for identifying and analyzing disease-suppressive soilsThe identification of this nematode-destroying fungus and its demonstrated ability to establish suppression in other soils open the door for new management strategies to control beet cyst nematodes. These advances in identifying pathogen-suppressing microorganisms will provide the basis for the next generation of plant pathogen management and disease control products. Numerous students, postgraduates and visiting scientists have been trained during the course of this project, and presentations at grower meetings, PCA training sessions and clientele workshops emphasized the benefits of biological disease suppression. Newsletter articles and journal publications further helped to disseminate the information.
Clientele Testimonial"Sugarbeet cyst nematodes are a major crop production constraint in California agriculture. Managing nematode populations ought to include taking advantage of their enemies. UCR's researchers are on the right track."
John Radewald, disease control consultant and emeritus CE Specialist
Supporting Unit:Departments of Nematology and Plant Pathology, CNAS, UC Riverside
J. Ole Becker
Department of Nematology
Department of Plant Pathology