Biological Control Of Plantparasitic Nematodes

The use of nematophagous fungi for biological control of plant-parasitic nematodes has a long history (for extensive review on earlier experiments see Stirling 1991). The investigations have resulted in variable and confusing results—sometimes excellent control results, at other occasions no control at all. The reasons for these varying results may be many, but the major reason is probably lack of knowledge, both on physiology and ecology of the nematophagous fungi. Their interaction in soil with nematodes, plants, other organisms, and the soil environment is little understood because of difficulties of working in the complex soil matrix and also lack of good methods for these purposes. We believe it is necessary to perform both laboratory experiments and field studies using old and new techniques to understand the complexity of nematophagous fungi interactions with their environment. In the following section we will discuss some of the possibilities to use nematophagous fungi for biological control.

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