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Food preferences of a fungal-feeding Aphelenchoides species

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For more content, see Nematologica.

The growth of Aphelenchoides sp. populations was investigated in vitro with 17 different fungal species as food source. Nematode mass cultures were obtained with saprophytic (Agrocybe, Chaetomium) and especially with mycorrhizal fungi (Cenococcum, Hymenoscyphus, Laccaria). Mitosporic species, like Alternaria, Monocillium or Penicillium, were generally meagre or non-hosts. This poor host suitability is likely due to the release of toxic metabolites (e.g. antibiotics) and/or to morphological differences (e.g., forming of conidiophores) by the fungi. Frequent grazing of nematodes on mycorrhizal mycelia may be of major significance for the establishment and maintenance of mycorrhizal associations in the field. Food preference of Aphelenchoides sp. was tested in choice chamber experiments. Nematodes showed a marked preference for particular fungal species. They changed food source with time, indicating a “mixed diet” selection, probably a strategy to avoid the concentration of toxic metabolites. The attractiveness of a fungus was not necessarily correlated with its suitability as a host. That a poor fungal host can be a strong nematode attractant and influence their spatial distribution in the soil has implications for nematode populations in the field.

In Laborexperimenten wurde die Vermehrung des Nematoden Aphelenchoides sp. mit 17 verschiedenen Pilzspezies als Nahrungsgrundlage untersucht. Neben saprophytischen Arten (Agrocybe, Chaetomium) eigneten sich insbesondere Mykorrhizapilze (Cenococcum, Hymenoscyphus, Laccaria) für eine Massenvermehrung. Eine schlechte Nahrungsquelle stellten mitosporische Arten, wie Alternaria, Monocillium oder Penicillium, dar. Dies dürfte auf toxische Stoffwechselprodukte (z.B., Antibiotika) und/oder auf morphologische Unterschiede (z.B., Sporenbildung) zurückzuführen sein. Die gute Vermehrung der Nematoden an Mykorrhizapilzen ist von weitreichender Bedeutung für das Freiland. Negative Auswirkungen auf die Ausbildung und Funktion von Mykorrhiza im Boden sind zu erwarten. In Nahrungswahlexperimenten zeigte Aphelenchoides sp. eine ausgeprägte Präferenz für bestimmte Pilzarten. Das Wechseln zwischen den einzelnen Pilzspezies weist auf die Bevorzugung von “Mischnahrung” hin. Dies dürfte eine Strategie zur Vermeidung von hohen Konzentrationen toxischer Nahrungsbestandteile sein. Präferenz und Nahrungsqualität standen nur in geringem Zusammenhang. Somit können auch Pilze, die eine schlechte Nahrungsquelle darstellen, attraktiv auf Nematoden wirken und deren Verbreitung in Boden und Rhizosphäre beeinflussen.


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