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The Effect of Predacious Fungus and Organic Matter Upon the Soil Population of Beet Eelworm, Heterodera Schachtii Schm. 1)

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In microplots containing soil very heavily infested with beet eelworm (Heterodera schachtii Schm.), an experiment was undertaken to test the effect of heavy doses of fungal mycelium and organic matter upon the yield of beet and the final eelworm population. Both fungus (Dactylaria thaumasia Drechsler) and organic matter (bran) increased the yield of beet. Fungus had no significant effect upon the final cyst population but organic matter caused a significant depression. Neither treatment affected the final egg population. It is not known whether the organic matter lowered the cyst population by enhancing the effect of predacious fungi in the soil or in some other way, e.g. by increasing the micro-fauna and flora, thus leading to increased competion for oxygen, which might reduce the hatch and activity beet eelworm larvae.

Affiliations: 1: (Regent Street Polytechnic, London; 2: (Rothamsted Experimental Station; 3: (School of Agriculture, University of Cambridge


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