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Biocontrol of the Reniform Nematode by Bacillus firmus GB-126 and Paecilomyces lilacinus 251 on Cotton

July 2013 , Volume 97 , Number  7
Pages  967 - 976

Juan D. Castillo, Kathy S. Lawrence, and Joseph W. Kloepper, Auburn University Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, Auburn, AL 36849

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Accepted for publication 24 January 2013.

Due to increased restrictions on the use of chemical nematicides, alternative nematode management strategies, including biocontrol, are needed. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the potential of Bacillus firmus GB-126 and Paecilomyces lilacinus 251 in commercial formulations applied separately or concomitantly to manage Rotylenchulus reniformis in cotton grown under greenhouse, microplot, and field conditions. In the greenhouse, seed treated with B. firmus (1.4 × 107 CFU/seed), an application of P. lilacinus (0.3% vol/vol of water), or the combination of B. firmus and P. lilacinus reduced the number of females, eggs, and vermiforms of R. reniformis (P ≤ 0.02) and increased populations of free-living nematodes (P ≤ 0.01). In microplots and field conditions, populations of R. reniformis vermiforms decreased when exposed to B. firmus and P. lilacinus biocontrol agents at midseason (P ≤ 0.04). Furthermore, stem diameter and free-living nematode numbers increased (P ≤ 0.01) with the combination of B. firmus and P. lilacinus. In the field, numbers of females, eggs, and vermiform life stages at the end of the growing season decreased in the presence of the biocontrol agents applied individually or concomitantly (P ≤ 0.01). Cotton yields from the application of B. firmus GB-126 and P. lilacinus 251 were similar to those from aldicarb, the chemical nematicide standard.

© 2013 The American Phytopathological Society