Interactions between nematodes, potato and soil-borne micro-organisms and their effect on the management of potato cyst nematodes

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Lettice, Eoin P.
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University College Cork
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Potato cyst nematodes (PCN) cause significant damage to the potato crop worldwide and growers experience economic losses related to yield loss and the cost of control measures. Experiments were set up to further elucidate the complex tritrophic PCNpotato-soil bacteria relationship. Bacterial strains isolated from the sugar beet rhizosphere were shown to be hatch active towards Globodera pallida and to be capable of successfully colonising the sugar beet rhizosphere when applied exogenously. A trap-crop system, based on these isolates, was proposed. Ridge and bulk soil taken from a commercial potato field were incubated with sterile potato root leachate (sPRL) and subsequent in vitro hatching assays showed that PCN hatch was influenced by microorganisms present in the ridge, but not in the bulk soil. Community level physiological profiling (CLPP) of ridge and bulk soil, using BIOLOG EcoplatesTM, demonstrated differences in bacterial functional diversity between the two soil types. An investigation of the inter-species competition between G. pallida and G. rostochiensis showed that G. pallida performed significantly better, in terms of multiplication rate, in competition with G. rostochiensis compared to its multiplication rate in single-species populations. Effectively removing the early hatch of G. rostochiensis in pot trials led to the removal of this competitive advantage of G. pallida suggesting that this advantage was due, at least in part, to morphological changes to the root caused by the early hatching of G. rostochiensis.
Nematodes , Plant science , Potato , Biological control
Lettice, E.P. 2014. TInteractions between nematodes, potato and soil-borne micro-organisms and their effect on the management of potato cyst nematodes. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.