Eggs of Tylenchulus semipenetrans Inhibit Growth of Phytophthora nicotianae and Fusarium solani in vitro


  • F. E. El-Boral
  • L. W. Duncan
  • J. H. Graham


antagonistic interaction, citrus, competition, eggs, fusarium solani, meloidogyne arenaria, phytophthora nicotianae, tylenchulus semipentrans


In previous greenhouse and laboratory studies, citrus seedlings infested with the citrus nematode Tylenchulus semipenetrans and later inoculated with the fungus Phylophthora nicotianae grew larger and contained less fungal protein in root tissues than plants infected by only the fungus, demonstrating antagonism of the nematode to the fungus. In this study, we determined whether eggs of the citrus nematode T. semipenetrans and root-knot nematode Meloidogyne arenaria affected mycelial growth of P. nicotianae and Fusarium solani in vitro. Approximately 35,000 live or heat-killed (60ºC, 10 minutes) eggs of each nematode species were surface-sterilized with cupric sulfate, mercuric chloride, and streptomycin sulfate and placed in 5-pl drops onto the center of nutrient agar plates. Nutrient agar plugs from actively growing colonies of P. nicotianae or F. solani were placed on top of the eggs for 48 hours after which fungal colony growth was determined. Live citrus nematode eggs suppressed mycelial growth of P. nicotianae and F. solani (P = 0.05) compared to heat-killed eggs and water controls. Reaction of the fungi to heat-killed eggs was variable. Root-knot nematode eggs had no effect on either P. nicotianae or F. solani mycelial growth. The experiment demonstrated a species-specific, direct effect of the eggs of the citrus nematode on P, nicotianae and F. solani.