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In vitro antagonism of endophytic Fusarium oxysporum isolates against the burrowing nematode Radopholus similis

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Radopholus similis is one of the key pests of banana worldwide. In this study, nine endophytic Fusarium oxysporum isolates were screened for the production of secondary metabolites antagonistic to R. similis in culture. Undiluted and diluted culture filtrates were tested against motile stages and eggs of R. similis. All isolates tested demonstrated in vitro antagonistic activity, causing paralysis of R. similis motile stages. The percentage of paralysed nematodes increased with increase in the length of exposure time to culture filtrates. After 24 h exposure in culture filtrates up to 100% of the treated nematodes were paralysed compared to 26.5% in the control treatments. Nematode mortality rates after 24 h exposure in culture filtrates ranged from 76.4% to 100%. Paralysis was reversible at lower filtrate concentrations. Radopholus similis males were more sensitive to culture filtrates than females. Culture filtrates of all isolates demonstrated inhibitory effects on hatching of R. similis eggs. The results demonstrate the potential for using endophytic F. oxysporum as biological control agents against R. similis and for toxic derivatives from their secondary metabolism to be used as potential nematicides.

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