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POSTERS: Biological control

Using nematophagous fungus Esteya vermicola to control the disastrous pine wilt disease
Chang Keun Sung - CNU (Chung Nam National University).

Pine wilt disease induced by the pinewood nematode, Bursaphelenchus xylophilus, is a great threat to pine trees in many country.

Once this nematode transferred from the vector, Monochamus alternatus to twig of pine branch, pine tree gets wilted very quickly within 3 months.

Despite of enormous investments and efforts, pine wilt disease is still spreading all over the world.
Since 2006, We started our research to find “natural enemy” in order to save pine trees.

This field test evaluated the protective effects of the nematophagous fungus “Esteya coreanus” on the large pine trees of Mt. Wora, South Korea. When pine trees were treated with Esteya coreanus, 110 days before normal pinewood nematode (PWN) infection, ~50% of the trees survived for six years. When pine trees were treated with Esteya coreanus one week after artificial normal PWN infection, 40% of the trees were saved.

In contrast, all of the control trees were dead in the first year. Although it has been more than six years since the beginning of this experiment, Esteya coreanus was successfully detected using a PCR method with two pairs of specific primers in pine trees.

In addition, one of the city in China, Heyuan, had invited us to demonstrate this invention with more than 2,000 trees.It successfully ended with the official result from their government, and this data shows ~60% in cure/prevention effects.

These results suggest that Esteya coreanus possesses great potential as a biocontrol agent to combat the disastrous pine wilt disease.