Phenotypic and genetic characterization of Paecilomyces lilacinus strains with biocontrol activity against root-knot nematodes

T. S. Gunasekera*, R. J. Holland, M. R. Gillings, D. A. Briscoe, D. C. Neethling, K. L. Williams, K. M H Nevalainen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Efficient selection of fungi for biological control of nematodes requires a series of screening assays. Assessment of genetic diversity in the candidate species maximizes the variety of the isolates tested and permits the assignment of a particular genotype with high nematophagous potential using a rapid novel assay. Molecular analyses also facilitate separation between isolates, allowing the identification of proprietary strains and trace biocontrol strains in the environment. The resistance of propagules to UV radiation is an important factor in the survival of a biocontrol agent. We have analyzed 15 strains of the nematophagous fungus Paecilomyces lilacinus using these principles. Arbitrarily primed DNA and allozyme assays were applied to place the isolates into genetic clusters, and demonstrated that some genetically related P. lilacinus strains exhibit widespread geographic distributions. When exposed to UV radiation, some weakly nematophagous strains were generally more susceptible than effective isolates. A microtitre tray-based assay used to screen the pathogenic activity of each isolate to Meloidogyne javanica egg masses revealed that the nematophagous ability varied between 37%-100%. However, there was no clear relationship between nematophagous ability and genetic clusters. Molecular characterizations revealed sufficient diversity to allow tracking of strains released into the environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)775-783
Number of pages9
JournalCanadian Journal of Microbiology
Volume46
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2000

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