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Plants producing pyrrolizidine alkaloids: sustainable tools for nematode management?

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For more content, see Nematologica.

1,2-dehydropyrrolizidine ester alkaloids (pyrrolizidine alkaloids; PAs) are a class of secondary plant metabolites found in hundreds of plant species. In vitro, PAs are known to affect plant-parasitic nematodes. Thus, PA-producing plants might be used in nematode management. So far, however, Crotalaria is the only PA-producing plant that has been used for nematode control. Consequently, we reviewed the literature on other PA plants and their effects on nematodes. This included the analysis of in vitro experiments with PA plant extracts, host tests with PA plants, as well as experiments in which PA-producing plants were used as different types of soil amendments (mulch, in situ mulching, extracts). Our results clearly show that, in addition to Crotalaria, certain other PA-producing plant species have the potential to be used in sustainable nematode management. This is especially true for management of sedentary endoparasitic nematode species. Promising applications include the use of PA plant extracts and mulches, as well as the use of PA plants for in situ mulching.

Affiliations: 1: Forstzoologisches Institut, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität, 79085 Freiburg i.Br., Germany;, Email:; 2: Forstzoologisches Institut, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität, 79085 Freiburg i.Br., Germany


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