Variation in Efficacy of Isolates of the Fungus ARF Against the Soybean Cyst Nematode Heterodera glycines


  • P. Timper
  • R. D. Riggs


An unnamed fungus, designated ARF, that parasitizes eggs and sedentary stages of cyst nematodes is a potential biological control agent of Heterodera glycines. The objectives of this study were to determine whether ARF isolates differ in their ability to suppress nematode numbers in soil and to compare the efficacy of ARF in heat-treated and native soil. The effectiveness of 11 ARF isolates was compared by introducing homogenized mycelium into heat-treated soil. Soybean seedlings were transplanted into pots containing fungus-infested soil and inoculated with H. glycines. After 30 or 60 days, the number of nematodes and the percentage of parasitized eggs were determined. Three isolates (907, 908, and TN14), which were previously reported to be weak egg parasites in vitro, consistently suppressed nematode numbers by 50% to 100%. Of the isolates previously reported to be aggressive egg parasites, four (903, BG2, MS3, and TN12) reduced nematode numbers by 56% to 69% in at least one experimental trial, but the other four had no effect on nematode numbers. When the efficacy of isolate TN14 was tested in heat-treated and native soil, nematode suppression was greater in the heat-treated soil in only one of two trials. In both soil treatments, nematode numbers were reduced by more than 60%. We conclude that virulence toward nematode eggs in vitro is a poor indicator of effectiveness of an ARF isolate in soil, and that the presence of soil microbes may reduce, but does not completely inhibit, activity of isolate TN14. Key words: ARF, Arkansas Fungus 18, biological control, efficacy, Heterodera glycines, nematode, nematophagous fungus, soybean, soybean cyst nematode, suppression.