Effect of Hirschmanniella caudacrena on the Submersed Aquatic Plants Ceratophyllum demersum and Hydrilla verticillata


  • Karin Gerber
  • Grover C. Smart, Jr.


In vitro pathogenicity tests demonstrated that Hirschmanniella caudacrena is pathogenic to Ceratophyllum demersum (coontail). Symptoms were chlorotic tissue, deformed stems, and, finally, death of the plant. Inoculum densities of 500 nematodes per 5-cm-long cutting in a test tube containing 50 ml of water resulted in death and decay of some of the cuttings within 8 weeks; 100 nematodes killed the plants in 12 weeks, and 50 and 25 nematodes killed them in 16 weeks. The lowest inoculum level of 10 nematodes did not seriously affect the plants at 16 weeks when the experiment was terminated. A second test conducted outdoors in glass jars containing 3 liters of water and two cuttings weighing a total of 15 g fresh weight showed damage, but results were not statistically significant. Hydrilla verticillata inoculated with H. caudacrena was not affected seriously. Key words: aquatic plant, biological control, Ceratophyllum demersum, coontail, Hirschmanniella caudacrena, hydrilla, Hydrilla verticillata, pathogenicity test, rice root nematode.