Biological Control of Meloidogyne hapla on Alfalfa and Tomato with the Fungus Meria coniospora


  • J. L. Townshend
  • M. Meskine
  • G. L. Barron


This study was to determine whether Arthrobotrysflagrans, A. oligospora, and Meria coniospora would control the root-knot nematode Meloidogyne hapla on alfalfa and tomato. Alfalfa seeds were coated with a fungus-rye powder in 2% cellulose and were planted in infested soil. Three-week-old seedlings from seed treated with M. coniospora had 60% and 58% fewer galls in two experiments than did seedlings from untreated seeds. Numbers of J2 in the soil were not reduced. Plant growth did not improve. When seed of tomato were coated with M. coniospora and planted in M. hapla-infested soil, roots had 34% fewer galls and 47% fewer J2 in the soil at 28 days. After 56 days there was no reduction in J2 numbers. Plant growth did not improve. When roots of tomato transplants were dusted with M. coniospora fungus-rye powder or sprayed with a spore suspension before planting in M. hapla-infested soil, 42% and 35%, respectively, fewer galls developed in 28 days on treated roots than on roots not treated with fungus. The numbers of J2 extracted from roots or recovered from soil were not reduced, however, and plant growth did not improve. Key words: alfalfa, Arthrobotrys flagrans, Arthrobotrys oligospora, biological control, Lycopersicon esculentum, Medicago sativa, Meloidogyne hapla, Meria coniospora, nematode-destroying fungi, northern root-knot nematode, tomato.