First and second authors: Department of Plant Pathology, University of California, Riverside 92521; and third author: Department of Nematology, University of California, Riverside 92521
The ability of Dactylella oviparasitica and Fusarium oxysporum to suppress Heterodera schachtii numbers was examined in field microplots. Fungi were individually added to fumigated field soil that was seeded with sugar beet. Four weeks later, soils were infested with H. schachtii second-stage juveniles (J2). At two harvests, 11 weeks and 19 weeks (1,469 and 2,547 degree days (base 8°C), respectively) after nematode-infestation, H. schachtii cyst and egg numbers were assessed. At both time points, D. oviparasitica reduced H. schachtii population densities to those in the naturally suppressive soil, even when additional H. schachtii J2 were added to the microplots after the first harvest. Although F. oxy-sporum did not alter H. schachtii population densities after 11 weeks, significant reductions were detected after 19 weeks. The sustainability of the H. schachtii suppressiveness created by single applications of the fungi at the beginning of the microplot trials was further examined in a greenhouse study. Soil collected at the completion of the microplot trials was potted and seeded with sugar beet. Four weeks later, each pot was infested with H. schachtii J2. Approximately 16 weeks (1,389 degree days) after seeding, the D. oviparasitica-amended soil produced greater fresh root weights and considerably smaller nematode population densities than the nonamended control.