Distribution and Downward Movement of Pasteuria penetrans in Field Soil


  • R. Cetintas
  • D. W. Dickson


bacterium, biological control, distribution, meloidogyne arenaria, nematode, pasteuria penetrans, peanut, movement, root-knot nematode, suppressive soil


Endospores of Pasteuria penetrans were evaluated for their vertical distribution in field soil and their downward movement through soil in the laboratory. In the field trial, the number of endospores attached to second-stage juveniles (J2) of Meloidogyne arenaria race 1 varied greatly in different soil depths. There were higher percentages of J2 with endospores attached in former weed fallow plots during the first 3 years of growing peanut than in former bahiagrass and rhizomal peanut plots (P = 0.05). In weed fallow plots a higher average number of endospores per J2 were maintained in all depths, upper three depths, and upper four depths in 1999, 2000, and 2001, respectively (P = 0.05). However, in 2002, there were no differences in the percentages of J2 with endospores attached and in the average of the numbers of endospores per J2 among the treatments (P 0.05). In laboratory trials, P. penetrans endospores were observed to move throughout the soil through the percolation of water. After one application of water, some endospores were detected 25 to 37.5 cm deep. Endospores were present at the greatest depth, 37.5 to 50 cm, after the third application of water. These results indicate that rain or water applications by irrigation are likely to move endospores to deeper levels of the soil, but the majority of endospores remain in the upper 0-to-30-cm depth.